Collections at Government House

These permanent collections record the historical and cultural legacies of both Alberta and this significant historical site.

Art collection

 

A painting of Queen Elizabeth the Second and Prince Philip standing in a field of blue flowers.
H.M. THE QUEEN AND PRINCE PHILIP, by Jean Paul Lemieux, 1962.

 

In 1975, the Government House Act was passed, mandating the collection, preservation and exhibition of furnishings, archival material and works of art that were original to the House. At the same time, a permanent Government House art collection was established. It now includes more than 200 historic and contemporary pieces, providing a broad survey of significant Canadian art.

Artworks range from historical to contemporary and represent diverse styles, media and subject matter. A large number of the artists represented in the collection were born in Alberta, or lived and worked in the province. The collection also holds works by four renowned Canadian artists who were commissioned in the late 19th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway to document the vastness of the Canadian Rockies and promote tourism.

View the collection

A portion of the collection is on display at Government House, the artworks being rotated on a regular basis. On occasion, pieces are loaned to public institutions for major exhibitions.

To view a selection of the art collection in person, join one of our free public tours.

Or, search the Government House Art Collection online.

Artifacts

After Lieutenant Governor Bowen moved out in 1942, Alberta Public Works held an auction of furnishings that remained in Government House. A search continues to this day to locate items that were sold off during the auction. See the original auction catalogue (7.1 MB)

Some of the items we’ve managed to locate have traveled between homes in Alberta and beyond since leaving the House, while others have stayed in Edmonton. The large gilt mirror that once graced the lobby of the Garneau Theatre now resides in the Government House Music Room.

Other pieces that were returned include:

  • a large portion of the original government crested Worcester dinner service
  • one of the portiere curtain panels used in the reception hall
  • marble statue “Clara”
  • boxed government crested silver fish set
  • 5 Sheraton-style dining room chairs
  • government crested silver entrée dish
     
A porcelaine plate and bowl with the Alberta crest on the front.
This custom Royal Worcester china service was sold at auction in 1942, then later bought back from a Toronto antique dealer.

Help us find

The Alberta government seeks to purchase or acquire through donations authentic furnishings or works of art with significant historical content for the Province of Alberta. Please contact us if you have any information about original Government House furnishings.

Contact us

780-427-2281

Location and visiting hours