Catharine Robb Whyte
Mount Rundle, ca. 1930 - 1935, oil on canvas
Collection of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Mount Rundle, ca. 1930 - 1935 Enamel Keychain
CATHARINE ROBB WHYTE (1906 – 1979)
Catharine Robb Whyte was born in Concord, Massachusetts and in 1925; she attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston. She met fellow art student, Peter Whyte, whom she married and in 1930, they settled in Banff where they remained for the rest of their lives. They were avid hikers who explored the mountains and painted extensively. Catharine learned much about landscape painting from her husband Peter, as well as from Carl Rungius, Belmore Brown and J.E.H. Macdonald.
During the 1930’s, Catharine and Peter travelled abroad and painted while in Hawaii, Bali, Japan and Europe. In 1958, Catharine and Peter formed the Wa-Che-Yo-Cha-Pa foundation (later the Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation) dedicated to the preservation and collecting of art and historical materials.
Following Peter’s death in 1965, Catharine became an important patron of the arts and supporter of the Stoney First Nations people who gave her the honorary name, Princess White Shield. In 1969, Catherine received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Calgary, and was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Banff Kiwanis Club. In 1978, she received the Award of Merit from the Historical Society of Alberta and Canada’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada. The Whyte Museum is Catharine and Peter’s legacy to the people of Canada and is a fitting place to celebrate their love of art.