Henry Glyde and his students in Banff Photo: The Banff Centre of the Arts archives

Henry Glyde and his students in Banff
Photo: The Banff Centre of the Arts archives

Henry George Glyde, 1906 - 1998

Henry George Glyde was born in Luton, Bedfordshire  England and trained at the Brassey Institute in Hastings (where he first met his influential and long-time associate Alfred Leighton) and later, at the Royal College of Art in London, where he graduated in 1930.

In 1935, on the recommendation of Leighton, who was already established at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art in Calgary (now Alberta College of Art and Design), Glyde relocated his family to Canada and joined the Art Department as a drawing instructor, one year later, in 1936 became head of the art department. During this time, Glyde pioneered the first community art courses in the rural centres of Vegreville, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie along with printmaker, Walter J. Phillips. The two artists shared the teaching of all classes while continuing to paint and exhibit their own work. 

It was s busy time for Glyde,who was also head of the painting division of the Banff School of Fine Arts from 1936-1967. In 1943, he and A.Y. Jackson were selected by the National Gallery to document the construction of the Alaska Highway.

Glyde followed Leighton as president of the Alberta Society of Artists and in 1946, moved from Calgary to Edmonton to establish an art program at the University of Alberta. He would serve as the Head of the Art Department for the next 20 years. During this time, Glyde was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy (1949) and traveled to Europe upon being awarded a senior fellowship from the Canada Council for the Arts, (1958).

In 1966, Glyde entered retirement and moved to Pender Island, B.C. with his wife, where he continued to paint. Glyde’s social realist style documented aspects of urban and rural prairie life. He favoured oil paint and worked on large murals. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Toronto Art Gallery, the Glenbow Museum and other public and private collections. 

The University of Alberta honoured him with a honorary doctorate in 1982. 

The artist died in Victoria in 1998, at the age of 91.

Selected Collections
The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
The Toronto Art Gallery, Toronto, ON
The Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC