January 29, 2018

Lougheed House proudly unveils a unique exhibition of domestic Art Deco, the exciting design style that swept the world in the 1920s and 30s.

The Future Looked Bright: Art Deco in Everyday Life

is a home-centric exhibit that transports Calgarians back to the interwar era when technology and industrialization fuelled not only a sense of optimism, but the first era of affordably mass-produced consumer goods.

Fada radio in the Art Deco style

Electrolux vacuum, 1937

Hand-painted ceramic Clifton vase, 1930s


The exhibit’s 40+ items include vacuums and vases, lamps and ashtrays, decanters, dishes and even a hood ornament, all generously on loan to the House from Calgary collectors Israel Lachovsky, Bill Ross, Steve Archer, Scott Cozens and The Museum of the Highwood, in High River, Alberta.

Art Deco first appeared at the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, an international design show.

After Paris, Art Deco design quickly found its way into the world’s homes and offices, automobiles and buildings, clothing and other forms of pop culture. Art Deco swept the world as people embraced its design aesthetic: sleek, modern lines and materials, smooth surfaces and bold colours in high contrasts like black and white. Homes became inundated with appliances and furniture designed to shout society’s hopeful promise of prosperity for all via a technological utopia that would transport us away from the nightmares of WWI and the Great Depression. Art deco was materialism that celebrated the prospects of industrialization, urbanization and social progress.

“Technological advances of the ‘Machine Age’ levelled the playing field,” said Caroline Loewen, Lougheed House Curator. “For the first time, most people could access well designed, albeit mass-produced, objects. So Art Deco elements appear in everything from vacuum cleaners to ocean liners and from watches to skyscrapers. The rate of new technologies being developed was unprecedented, and an unanticipated side effect was unrest among workers who were being impacted – or displaced – by machines. This parallels what is happening today as automation and artificial intelligence technologies replace jobs that were, historically, done by people.”

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Lougheed House Christmas, 2017

From November 19 – January 7th, the House is brimming with thousands of seasonal decorations, lights, trees, Christmas artifacts, and family programs.

Every year, our 14,000 square-foot House is custom-designed anew by a changing, dedicated volunteer team of professional interior designers. The result this year is a theme of “family traditions” as many of our designers have incorporated their own cherished family heirlooms into our three floors of Victorian mansion now aglow with Christmas trees, decorated hearths, draped oak bannisters, real greenery, natural fibers, fruit, lights, stained-glass windows, furniture, candles and decorative items. If Christmas is a time for family, our designers have made it personal. Come see what they’ve done!

This year’s design professionals are Selina Austin, Ana Cummings, Rebekah McEwan Swantje Macke-Monteiro, Lea Romanowski, Alison Rose, Beatta Ryback and Chantel C Snyder.

Thanks to interior designe Chantel C Snyder for the photo of her design of our Mission Room this Christmas. Photo (below) by Dan Kim http://dankimphotos.wixsite.com/photography


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As Calgary’s gardens are in full bloom, Lougheed House unveils Cultivating the Landscape: A Social History of Gardening in Calgary, a new exhibit about our relationship to the land, seen through the lens of our gardens. This exhibit shows how, through urban beautification movements, the imperative to grow vegetables for the social good, or even using gardens as advertising, our community has shaped (and been shaped by) the land. Cultivating the Landscape focuses primarily on the 1890s – 1960s.



In the last century, our relationship with the land has evolved from control to collaboration. In the 19th century, there was a perceived tension between nature and culture – our role was to subjugate nature, create order and to tame the wild. This instinct to control is seen in formal garden landscapes, the City Beautiful Movement, ornamental plants and gardening competitions.

Now, nature and culture are more often seen as enjoying a symbiotic relationship. The landscape is seen less as an obstacle to overcome, and more as the space we inhabit and the source of our survival. Cultivating the Landscape: A Social History of Gardening in Calgary, presents historic and contemporary photographs, gardening tools, archival material, and gardening ephemera.

With abundant flower and vegetable gardens (tended to by 25 volunteer gardeners) on our 2.8-acre Beltline property, Lougheed House is a popular gathering place for Calgarians. Our new exhibit is for everyone who loves gardens, gardening, and connecting with nature.


Back garden of house at 2140-17A Street in Calgary. Date unknown. Courtesy Glenbow Archives.

Postcard: Crowds at St. George’s Island Park. Date unknown. Courtesy Calgary Library.


Generous support provided by:


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: http://calgaryherald.com/entertainment/local-arts/lougheed-house-exhibit-chronicles-calgarys-humble-post-confederation-emergence 

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, cloewen@lougheedhouse.com 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.