University Of Alberta Library And Museums "Alberta History" Mural Project

In recent decades, conversation and discussion around the mural titled Alberta History (1951) by Henry G. Glyde, which resides in the Rutherford South Reading Room, has increased. Many University of Alberta community members have reflected and responded to how the work of art portrays Indigenous Peoples and settlers in Alberta; and many people have had strong emotional responses to this work of art.

The events of the past year including the discovery of unmarked graves near Residential School sites in Canada and the desire for decolonization on campus have informed our efforts to work towards a resolution of this complex issue in the coming academic year.  

Working with our community on campus and off, we aim to be transparent and share updates publicly with each milestone on this web page. 


Project Updates

Updates will be added to this section when changes are made on the website, updates occur in the project, and other important information for the community. 

April 21, 2022

 An Alberta History mural project update has been posed in The Quad.

April 19, 2022

Alberta History Conservation Assessment report webpage has been created to include details around a 2019 Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) report. 

November 22, 2021

The working group is looking for research and teaching initiatives using the Alberta History mural. Please use the feedback form to submit information.

October 13, 2021

Henry G. Glyde bio information has been added to the University of Alberta Museums Search Site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this project starting now?

The events of the past year including the discovery of unmarked graves near Residential School sites in Canada and the desire for decolonization on campus have informed our efforts to work towards a resolution of this complex issue.

Additionally, following a recent conservation assessment of the mural's condition, it was confirmed that the mural is actively deteriorating.

Is the mural going to be taken down?
A final decision has not yet been made but we are committed to working towards a resolution in the coming academic year. Feel free to use the feedback form if you have questions or comments about the mural.
Can the mural be conserved?

A 2019 report completed by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) states that the potential conservation of the mural is both complex and costly.

It would additionally require substantial renovations of the Rutherford South Reading Room to create more appropriate environmental conditions. This work would require significant financial investment, infrastructure, and staff resources to accomplish and would not be a guarantee due to the mural’s current poor condition and instability of the medium (the material with which the work was made).

More detailed information and the full CCI report can be found on the Alberta History Conservation Assessment webpage.
If the mural is removed, will images and resources still be accessible for teaching and research purposes?

Measures will be taken to ensure that records of this mural will remain for future generations. High resolution photos of the mural have already been taken and are available on the University of Alberta Museums Search Site

If you require specific resources regarding the Alberta History mural for your teaching and/or research, please complete our feedback form.
What is going to happen to "Sky Talk" - the Alex Janvier work of art in the Rutherford South Reading Room?
There are no plans to move this work of art. Due to the size of this painting, the location of this painting is permanent. Note that this work of art was not painted or installed as a response to Alberta History.
What has happened to “When all the World was Burned” in the Rutherford breezeway?

Unlike Alberta History, When all the World was Burned belongs to the Students' Union Art Collection. It has been removed from its current location so it can be returned to the Students' Union as part of a larger project to return art belonging to them. 

The University of Alberta Museums Art Collection does have a smaller watercolour of the larger painting titled When all the World was Burned in its collection. The University of Alberta Museums Art Collection also contains a preparatory sketch and a study of When all the World was Burned.

Feedback & Contact Us

For questions, comments, and feedback please use the feedback form. If you require a response, the Working Group will follow up within five (5) business days.

Feedback Form


The Library and Museums Working Group for this project includes:

Dale Askey - Vice Provost (Library and Museums) & Chief Librarian

Frannie Blondheim - Associate Director (University of Alberta Museums)

Jennifer Bowser - Moveable Cultural Property Advisor (University of Alberta Museums)

Anne Carr-Wiggin - Indigenous Initiatives Coordinator & Indigenous Initiatives Team Co-Chair (University of Alberta Library)

Debbie Feisst - Head, Faculty Engagement (Sciences, Engineering and Business) & Indigenous Initiatives Team Co-Chair (University of Alberta Library)

Jill Horbay - Communications and Marketing Manager (University of Alberta Museums)

Tom Hunter - Collections Assistant (University of Alberta Museums Art Collection)

Nadia Kurd - Curator (University of Alberta Museums Art Collection)