"Barbara Leighton with Saddle on Honeymoon" c 1931 A.C. Leighton Oil on Canvas.
The former home and property of Albertan artists A.C. and Barbara Leighton was bequeathed to cultivate an appreciation of art through the use of its assets. The museum mandate is to establish, maintain and operate an art centre to foster education in the arts and to preserve and exhibit its assets for the public and future generations.
The Leighton Art Centre’s 80-acre property offers some of the most beautiful vistas in western Canada. The property situated on the crest of a hill southwest of Calgary overlooks the adjacent foothills and the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Many visitors coming for the first time are astounded by the utter beauty of the landscape.
Built in the 1950s, the Leighton Home portrays a predominantly "English Country" style. Designed by A.C. Leighton himself, the home beautifully lends itself to the landscape with absorbing views from every direction. A.C. Leighton built his home in a cruciform shape with a central tower to view the magnificent landscape from any direction. The "Leighton Residence" is open to the public year-round Tuesdays through Saturdays. It features some of the original furniture that was designed and built by A.C. Leighton, personal artifacts, permanent exhibitions that tell the story of A.C. and Barbara, and changing exhibitions of works by Alberta landscape artists. The collection has holdings of art works by both A.C. and Barbara Leighton. In addition, the collection includes works of art by their friends and contemporaries.