Leighton Art Centre, Gallery & Museum 

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“Look, Roger,” Victoria Levington says as she points at A.C. Leighton’s name underneath the print of original art on the menu booklet, “This is the same artist that created the lovely poster we saw in London. I am looking forward to seeing Lake Louise and the glacier, and staying in the magnificent hotel there.” 

Victoria and Roger Levington have chosen to vacation in Canada in 1926 after seeing the tranquil aqua waters of Lake Louise on a Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) promotion poster. Their journey to the mountain destination has taken them from England to Canada, and they are on their way to Banff National Park on the steam train.

In 1924, the CPR hired young Alfred Crocker (A.C.) Leighton to paint landscapes that featured their Canadian hotels and steam trains to market their services. A.C. enthusiastically packed his bags and art supplies and went as far west as Calgary and the Rocky Mountains. He was inspired by the beauty of the landscape and was prolific in producing watercolour and oil paintings of these scenes, which appeared on promotion posters, postcards, and other items for the CPR. He eventually moved to Calgary where he and Barbara not only established their own artistic presence but also influenced development of the art community in Alberta.

The Leighton Centre is a place for artistic discovery. The 1952 home built by A.C. and Barbara Leighton near Millarville is now both a museum and an art centre that promotes appreciation for a natural, organic art environment. Its inspiring panoramic view of the foothills and Rocky Mountains invites visitors to explore their creativity. The legacy of the Leightons is their art works and personal collections that document their role in developing the art community and professional standards of art in Alberta. Among the vast art collections are the promotional artifacts that A.C. produced for the CPR.

Permanent Collections

• A.C. Leighton’s artwork commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway for promoting tourism in Canada
• A.C. Leighton’s paintings and sketches
• Barbara Leighton’s artwork including her Barleigh block prints
• Furniture designed and made by A.C. Leighton
• Sketchbooks, notebooks, and personal collections

Programs

• Art workshops for adults and families
• Art and Nature field trips for school children
• Art exhibitions and special events
• Salon lecture series
• Discovery Trunk for children, a hand’s on exhibit of touchable reproductions of artifacts from the collection.Leighton Art Centre