This exhibition will explore early resource development, the relationship between Calgary’s sandstone and Alberta’s oil sands, and our relationship with the land, specifically stone. Metaphorically, James Lougheed’s legacy is encased in and represented by this sandstone mansion, much like Calgary’s legacy is inextricably linked to the oil industry. This project will explore the impact sandstone/oil has had on the history of Calgary; how much of Calgary’s history and current situation is a result of its geology? Are Calgarians willing to move beyond the basic facts of their geology?

It will also ask broader questions related to our relationship with the land: Does looking at human history though the lens of geologic time affect how we view our own histories? How would our perspective change if we were to view stones, minerals, oil deposits, and quarries as an archive of human and non-human experience? What stories can be told through stones?

Featuring artwork by:
Kelly Andres
Alana Bartol
Caitlind Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee
Emma Gammans
Megan Green
Jennifer Ireland
Chase Key
Stephen Riether
Isabel Porto
David Yowney
Philip Vandermey and Jessie Andjelic


Recent Exhibits 

Getting on the Map: The Emergence of Calgary, Post-Confederation

February 10 – May 29, 2017


This exhibit uses a combination of reproductions and originals of early maps, photographs and artwork about Southern Alberta to tell the fascinating story of the Calgary frontier as it was in the 1870s and 1880s, more than 30 years before Alberta joined Canada.

On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, this exhibit connects the dots between the formal creation of Canada in 1867 and the establishment, eight years later, of a small police outpost known as Fort Calgary. Dozens of artifacts, images, books and other visual culture about the Calgary area in the 1870s and 1880s reveal a frontier changing from settler colonialism, the whiskey trade, Treaty 7, the CPR and the NWMP.

Read the Calgary Herald article about the exhibit: 

This exhibit explores the view that Calgary emerged not only from Confederation and unification, but also due to Canadian settler-colonialism, as part of a concerted effort to develop and exploit the resources of the territories. For the West, the most significant consequence of Confederation was a change in colonizing power from Britain to the newly formed Dominion of Canada.

The visuals in the exhibit reveal a Eurocentric perspective of an emerging frontier town when this land and its people experienced the impact of settlers; the whiskey trade and the NWMP sent to combat it; the relinquishment of Indigenous lands; the near extinction of the buffalo; and the signing of Treaty 7.

The exhibit features pieces from Lougheed House Collection; the Local History Collection of the Calgary Public Library; Fort Calgary and Calgary’s Loch Gallery. Reproductions of rare maps and sketches of early Calgary are from University of Calgary Library Map Collection and Glenbow Museum.

Image credits:

Map of part of the North West Territory, including the province of Manitoba: shewing an approximate classification of the lands, by John Johnston. Courtesy University of Calgary

Colonel James Farquharson Macleod, N.W.M.P. Courtesy Glenbow Museum Archives NA-354-1.

Chief Crowfoot and Family (1884) R.G. Brook. Courtesy Glenbow Museum Archives NA-1104-1.


Permanent Exhibits

Every effort has been made to restore Beaulieu to its original look and feel of when the Lougheed family lived here. On the second floor you will find furnishings and artifacts from the turn of the 20th century, including objects original to the House.  We are constantly looking for other original and period (1890-1914) pieces to help us complete these exhibits. The Restoration Room, on the second floor, details the process of the restoration of the House and Gardens to their original condition after years of many different occupants. Throughout the House you will also be able to explore information about these occupants including the Dominion Provincial Youth Training Program, the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, and The Red Cross Society. If you are interested in helping us to continue restoring and furnishing Lougheed House through donations of artifacts and furnishings, or contribute to our knowledge of other periods of the House’s history, please contact Caroline Loewen, We would love to hear your anecdotes, memories, and stories, and would be grateful if you can share photographs or artifacts with us. Donations are essential to our collections, research, and programs.