Climbing the pinnacle of art: Learning vacations at the Banff school of fine arts, 1933-1959

Karen Wall, Pearlann Reichwein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Learning tourism at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Banff National Park, Alberta, was historically rooted in a combination of mass tourism, public education, and cultural politics. Initiated by the University of Alberta, the School offered summer programs premised on the traditions and ideals of rational recreation and adult extension. This study focuses on the School's visual arts programs from the mid-1930s to the late 1950s, discussing administration, teaching and learning within a broader circuit of culture. Mediating between state agendas of cultural development and popular taste in landscape art, the School's production of visual art also contributed to the production of Banff National Park as a tourist commodity. In coordinating temporary tourist communities of artistic production and wilderness consumption, the Banff School contributed to shaping twentieth-century concepts of the human-nature relationship as mediated through practices of tourism and art.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-105
Number of pages37
JournalCanadian Historical Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar. 2011


  • Banff National Park
  • adult education
  • tourism
  • visual arts


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