Mount Lefroy from Beehive, ca. 1955 - 1960, oil on canvas
Collection of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Mount Lefroy from Beehive, ca. 1955 - 1960, 8 x 10 Giclée on wood frame
PETER WHYTE (1905 – 1966)
Born in Banff, Alberta, Peter Whyte demonstrated an early talent for art. He took private lessons from landscape painter and outdoorsman, Belmore Browne, along with illustration lessons from Norah Drummond-Davies. He developed his landscape painting techniques by studying the work of Aldro T. Hibbard, Carl Rungius, and the Group of Seven painter J. E. H. MacDonald.
In 1924, J. E. H. MacDonald visited Lake O'Hara and returned frequently to paint the Rocky Mountains. During his many outings, Peter guided MacDonald into the mountains and painted alongside the famous artist. In 1925, Peter was fortunate to paint alongside another accomplished artist, Aldro T. Hibbard, who encouraged Peter to enroll at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Peter was accepted as a student and there he met his future wife, Catharine Robb - a fellow art student. The two married in 1930 and settled in Banff for the remainder of their lives. They were avid hikers who explored the mountains and painted extensively. During the 1930’s they travelled abroad and painted while in Hawaii, Bali, Japan and Europe. After returning from their travels, Peter was an appointed Canadian War Artist during WWII and produced over fifty canvases while in this position. Through the 1950’s and 1960’s the two continued to travel, paint and expand their art collection. They established the Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation, a library and archives, and The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. The museum is home to both Peter and Catherine’s art and their collections.