Fifty years ago in 1966, 50 cents could get you a dozen eggs a tube of toothpaste or 11 litres of gasoline in a car.
In 2016, 50 cents will buy you admission to the Glenbow Museum’s pop-up exhibition of 50 artworks, in celebration of the museum’s 50th year.
The price drop is a “fun nod to the past,” according to the museum’s marketing and communications manager Jenny Conway Fisher.
“It was what Glenbow first charged as general admission when founded in 1966, making it a little nostalgic way of making it a low-cost incentive for people to come and check out this exhibition.”
The pop-up exhibition entitled Glenbow at 50 is a new concept for the museum due to its limited five-day run time from Oct. 1-5.
“Our exhibitions usually run for three to four months, so it’s a whirlwind celebration for the 50th anniversary.”
The five-day window that the pop-up will run for was the only time where no other exhibitions were planned, and because of this, the timeline to choose art was also speeded up.
“The curators only had six weeks to go through the over 30,000 pieces in the collection to come up with the 50 that would be on display.
“Because of the urgency of getting the pieces together quickly, it fuelled discussions among curators and helped them figure out what would work in the exhibit.”
Some of the featured pieces include a set of prints made by Sol LeWitt, a stop motion short film by Graeme Patterson, and an oil on canvas painting by William Bradford.
Conway Fisher is most excited to see Green Soldier No. 1, a fibreglass on an aluminum interior frame life-sized army man made by Canadian artist Douglas Coupland.
“Glenbow’s collection is diverse because it encompasses sculpture, paintings, photography, video and pretty much anything that someone can use to create art.”
The paintings of cowboys and epic landscapes that are synonymous with Calgary’s historic art scene are there, but Conway Fisher also feels that the Glenbow’s art collection involves more than that.
“The nature of the pop-up is to pull out pieces that are intriguing, or unusual, or highly representative of an artist or style that was important in the Western Canadian art scene.
“The pieces featured will compliment each other in the sense of each representing a little bit of everything the museum’s wider collection holds.”
Conway Fisher says it will be a show full of surprises, unexpected treasures and curiosities.
“Hopefully people will walk away saying, ‘Huh, I didn’t know the Glenbow had that.'”
Glenbow at 50 will run, with extended hours, Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday, Oct. 3 through Wednesday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Conway Fisher just had one other piece of advice for enjoying the show: “Bring your quarters.”