Inspired by the dramatic Rocky Mountain landscape, a strong artistic community emerged in early Banff. Influenced by these talents, Peter Whyte (b. 1905 - d. 1966) (son of the prominent local merchant Dave White) decided to study art in Boston. There, he met Catharine Robb (b. 1906 - d. 1979) in 1925, the daughter of a wealthy New England family. After their marriage in 1930, Peter designed and built this log studio-house along the Bow River.
The Whytes spent their days painting in the Rockies, using this as their summer base camp. In 1939, they made Banff their permanent home and built a larger studio, dark room, and woodworking shop. Their house became a gathering place for friends and artists, as well as a showcase for local artifacts. Interested in preserving more of the Rocky Mountain heritage, the Whytes established a heritage foundation in 1958 and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in 1968, where many of their paintings can be viewed today.
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