An Artist's Journey: The Life and Works of E. S.
(September 6, 2012 – Spring 2013)
The Montana Historical Society exhibit An
Artist’s Journey: The Life and Works of E.S Paxson features a
comprehensive look Edgar Samuel Paxson's work. Paxson was born April
25, 1852, in East Hamburg, New York. His early education was at
Webster Corners, now called Orchard Park, New York.
ship en route home, he suffered injuries when a wave struck him and
threw him against a spar. He never fully recovered.
UNTITLED (Portrait of an Indian Male)
E.S. Paxson (1852-1919)
Oil on canvas, 1899
Montana Historical Society Museum Collection, X2005.02.07
WINCHESTER LEVER-ACTION RIFLES: ICONIC FIREARMS OF THE AMERICAN WEST
(May 25, 2012 through Feb 2, 2013)
|The Art of Story Telling: Plains Indian Perspectives: (Dec. 1, 2011 through fall of 2012)|
For countless years Plains Indians have chronicled their histories in magnificent graphic pictorial styles. Powerful images carved in, or painted on, rock marked historical events and visions. Narrative scenes painted on buffalo robes, hides, and tips chronicled men’s personal exploits and feats—memorializing and making public their heroic deeds. This exhibit features stunning and powerful, and fascinating works of art from the Montana Historical Society’s collection along with the special addition of the magnificent Walter Bone Shirt Ledger Book which is generously on loan from the Mansfield Library. In these works, often the meaning of the artist’s intent is clear but equally often the original meaning remains an enigmatic mystery.
Excerpt from untitled ledger drawing
By Curley, Crow
Pencil, colored pencil, paper, 1886
Montana Historical Society Museum Collection, X1915.01.03
For more than thirty years spanning the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Evelyn Jephson Cameron photographed the landscape, wildlife, and people of eastern Montana. Evelyn took thousands of photographs of her world?the rural life, badlands, and ranch characters of the real west. Over 40 large format prints made from Cameron's original glass-plate and nitrate negatives are featured in this exhibit, which is based on the book Photographing Montana by Donna Lucey, a former editor with Time-Life Books. Both in Lucey's book and in the exhibit, Cameron's own words? culled from 30 years of her diaries and biography?are used to reveal Evelyn's personal feelings behind her photographs. Photographing Montana offers an intimate view of rural life on the Northern Plains.
Land of Many Stories
2010 will mark the centennial of Glacier Park, and the Montana Historical Society, in collaboration with Glacier National Park-National Park Service, has mounted a major exhibition illuminating one of Montana's cultural and natural wonders. The traveling exhibit - paralleling the theme and content of the major exhibition displayed concurrently at the Montana Historical Society - is comprised of reproductions of historic photographs, graphics, and accompanying interpretive text. The exhibit explores the many ways people have used and enjoyed the area from pre-European contact to present day, and will illustrate though much has changed over the years a great deal remains the same for today's visitors. People still enjoy Glacier's magnificent pristine wilderness following the same routes as those who have traveled before. This exhibit is produced in partnership with Glacier National Park and is made possible by the generosity of the Glacier National Park Fund and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation.
The People & Histories of
Photographs of the National Forest by K. D. Swan. A Harvard-educated
Easterner, Swan arrived in Missoula in the summer of 1911 to begin a job
with the newly created Forest Service. Although trained as a forester, his
work eventually led him into public information. Through his pictures and
many public presentations, Swan revealed the unique beauty of remote wild
places in Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas. This traveling exhibit-which was
produced by the Northern Region of the U.S. Forest Service in observance of
that agency's 100th anniversary-reflects both Swan's artistry as a
photographer and his mission of promoting the value of public lands. For
more information visit:
Part of an ongoing series of temporary exhibits mounted in observance of
the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, this show highlights portraits of
Montana's first inhabitants-the Native Americans who remained largely unseen
by Lewis and Clark, but who have captured the imagination of artists ever
since. Although motives varied from artist to artist, and styles changed to
fit evolving aesthetics, the continuing efforts of these painters and
sculptors over the last two centuries have combined to form a rich and
colorful legacy of images depicting Indian peoples and their cultures.
Painting the Corps: Artistic Visions of Lewis and Clark, provides a
colorful look at how artists have depicted this pivotal event in American
history. This exhibit - which is the latest in a series of shows mounted in
observance of the bicentennial of
Thomas Jefferson's Corps of Discovery - includes both contemporary works created expressly for Painting the Corps, and historic works from the museum's permanent collection. Don Prechtel - who is widely noted for his expertise in art relating to military history - helped organize the show by recruiting eight of his colleagues as contributors to the show. An artists' reception will be held for the general public in August 2005 during the Western Rendezvous of Art.
Since the time that humans first inhabited Montana, people have depended upon the Treasure State's diverse plant life as a source for food, medicine, and building materials. In addition to relying on plants for these necessities, however, Montanans have also frequently turned to the local flora as an important component in the art they created, employing plants as both a subject matter and as a medium. Montana Botanical presents a small cross sampling of the many ways in which artists working under the Big Sky have transformed these essential elements of the region's natural beauty into works of art.
Watercolors by Montana State University's first art professor, Frederica
Marshall, will compliment the exhibit. Montana adopted Mrs. Marshall's
depiction of the bitterroot as the state flower. The exhibit includes
numerous other works featuring, and composed of, plants.
For almost 200 years artists, both amateur and professional, have created artistic representations of the Corps of Discovery. Because the art of photography had not yet been invented when the Corps of Discovery left St. Louis, Meriwether Lewis resorted to artwork to record what he saw. Since then many others have used various media oils, clay, charcoal to depict Lewis and Clark triumphs and misfortunes.
In commemoration of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Montana Historical Society solicited artwork from Montana's school children in grades kindergarten through 12. The art created represented episodes from the Corps of Discovery journals, landscapes of Montana in 1804-1806, oral histories from tribes, or the contributions and impacts of the expedition to 19th century science, geography, and exploration. The illustrated episodes must have occurred in the geographic region now known as Montana. Each student composed a statement on how the artwork relates to the expedition, and included a quote from the journal if they interpreted a specific episode.
Laton Alton Huffman (1854-1931) came to Fort Keogh, Montana, in 1879 as
post photographer, and later operated photographic studios in nearby Miles
City. Huffman - who also spent time ranching - dubbed the 1880's as the
golden era of the cowman. While he had a special interest in documenting the
"picturesque industry" of cattle ranching, Huffman also took exceptional
photographs of Cheyenne and Crow Indians, military life, the slaughter of
the buffalo, and the Custer Trail Expedition in 1916. L. A. Huffman:
Photographer of the American West featured a wide variety of vintage
prints and related memorabilia documenting all aspects of this remarkable
The life and work of the official photographer for both the Northern
Pacific Railroad (1884-1904) and Yellowstone National Park (1887-1916) was
portrayed in this 4,000 square-foot exhibition. In addition to photographs,
cameras and related equipment, F. J. Haynes: Photographer featured
artifacts related to both Yellowstone National Park and the National Pacific
Railroad like a Yellowstone stagecoach, furniture from the Canyon Hotel, and
a 1930s touring car. The exhibit also included several vignettes that
recreated a photography studio (1879), a train station (1904), and a
Yellowstone gift shop (1930s).
Robert MacFie Scriver was born on Montana's Blackfeet Reservation, where his family operated a mercantile company in the community of Browning. Growing up amid vast plains and "shining" mountains, the young Scriver was influenced by the geography, people, and animals of the Glacier Park area, as well as by the romance of the Wild West. As an adult, he devoted his considerable talents to music and taxidermy before becoming one of the nation's most celebrated sculptors of Western life.
Largely self-taught, Scriver opened the first major exhibition of his sculpture at his studio in Browning in 1961. This initial showing received critical acclaim. Increasing national recognition soon followed, along with an ever-growing audience of admirers and collectors.
Although Scriver began his sculpting career by focusing on wildlife-a subject that represented a natural progression from his taxidermy work-in 1968 the artist's efforts headed in a new direction. In that year Scriver received a commission from the Rodeo Cowboys Association to create a heroic-size statue of the legendary Bill Linderman for the Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Scriver's enthusiasm for that project ultimately led to the creation of an entire series of bronzes depicting the events, activities, and personalities of professional rodeo. His admiration for the daring men and women of the rodeo culminated in 1975 with the publication of his book An Honest Try: An Essay in Bronze. The exhibit featured 25 rodeo bronzes and 35 historic photos of Montana rodeos.
The exploration of the Louisiana Purchase by the Corps of Discovery, led
by Captains Lewis and Clark, resulted in one of the most thoroughly
documented and extensively interpreted investigations of unknown territory,
ever. This five-part exhibit highlighted the extraordinary Montana
Historical Society collection of primary documents, interpretive resources,
art, and artifacts about the Corps' journey. Maps, documents, journals,
artwork, and pop culture illustrate the exhibit. A traveling version of this
exhibit is available for booking.
These fifty views are taken from the Haynes Collection, which illustrate
the development of the upper Midwest and the Northwest from 1876 to the turn
of the century. Haynes was the official photographer for the Northern
Pacific Railroad and for Yellowstone National Park. Through photographs he
hoped to encourage immigration into the region and also to provide views of
the area's scenic splendors both to visitors and to those eager to see the
wonders they could not visit. The exhibit begins with images of Haynes'
early career in the Dakota and Montana Territories; it continues with views
of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska; and concludes with Yellowstone,
the area of Haynes' most abiding interest.
Catalog #952-640. Montana State Capitol building, Helena, Montana.
The landscape work is being completed. The black dirt had been hauled in
from the Big Indian Mine's Placer No. 66. [circa 1902]
Credit: MHS Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, MT
The Montana Historical Society celebrates the State Capitol's 2002
centennial with a traveling exhibit that documents the building's colorful
history. This exhibit explains the unique history and aesthetics of the
people's house with 31 framed vintage and contemporary photos. The photos
show the Capitol throughout its lifespan, from construction to renovation,
and give a sense of the state' territorial history. The exhibit includes
interactive, hands-on panels that bring the Capitol to life for people of
Montana is a unique place with an exceptionally colorful past. The
exhibit is designed to delight viewers with spectacular remnants of this
past and features a wide array of items from the Montana Historical
Society's holdings, including rare gems from the library, archives,
photograph archives, and museum collections. Treasures showcases "the best
of the best" in order to illustrate the incredible legacy that earlier
residents of the Treasure State not only created for themselves, but also
preserved as a gift for future generations.
|Olaf C. Seltzer (1877-1957) Moose
Watercolor on Paper, undated
Ed Craney Collection
Gift of the Greater Montana Foundation
Throughout his life Edmund B. Craney, a prominent Montana radio pioneer, encouraged Montanans to embrace their own artistic culture. This is illustrated by his utilization of local musicians and entertainers on his early radio broadcasts, and is further reflected by the paintings and sculptures that he collected. Consequently, Ed Craney's art collection was comprised solely of art created by Montana artists. By limiting his collecting in this way, Craney not only amassed a stellar sampling of Montana art, he also furthered the careers of many Montana artists by purchasing their works.
Having witnessed many of Charles M. Russell's treasured art pieces leave the state, Ed Craney wanted to insure that his collection of Montana art stayed in the Treasure State for future generations to enjoy. As a result of this concern, he promised Olaf C. Seltzer that he would leave his collection in Montana. Through the generosity of the Greater Montana Foundation in their recent donation to the Montana Historical Society this promise has been fulfilled.
Artists represented in the collection include: Olaf C. Seltzer, Charles M. Russell, William Standing, Ralph DeCamp, Edgar S. Paxson, Ace Powell, Nancy McLaughlin, James Masterson, and Charles Biel.
In addition to the Craney Art Collection, received as a gift from the
Greater Montana Foundation, in 1978 Ed Craney gave the Montana Historical
Society an extensive collection of early radio broadcasting material
including equipment, photographs, and archival records. For more information
on Ed Craney and early radio in Montana, read Mary Murphy's article,
"Messenger of the New Age", in Montana Magazine of Western History, Autumn,
Milwaukee Railroad, Engine 26, moving snow, Ringling, MT, 1942
By Warren McGee
Jointly sponsored by the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association,
the Montana Department of Transportation, and the Montana Historical
Society, On Track: The Railroad Photographs of Warren McGee
features the stunning photographs taken by Warren McGee over a 60-year
period, beginning in the 1930s and continuing through the 1990s. The exhibit
celebrates the photograph collection as it chronicles and pays tribute to
trains in 20th century Montana and the surrounding region. This exhibit will
also be part of the Museum's traveling exhibit program beginning in June
|Eagle Chief, Assinboin
Fort Belknap Reservation, 1914
Bob Morgan: A Montana Original
This retrospective exhibition features more than thirty paintings from throughout the career of renowned Helena painter Bob Morgan. A member of the Northwest Rendezvous of Artists and former curator at the Montana Historical Society, Morgan's splendid paintings capture the history of Montana's people and the unparalleled beauty of Montana's rich landscape.
Tradition, Design, Color: Plateau Indian Beaded Bags
From the Fred Mitchell Collection
This exhibition consists of 138 extraordinary beaded bags ranging in date from 1870 to about 1950. Most of these bags have never before been on public display and this will be the largest museum exhibition of them ever assembled. These visually striking bags illustrate the incredible variety of designs used to decorate this traditional art form.
Beaded Bag, Fred Mitchell
Mapping Montana: Two Centuries of Cartography (Dec 1, 2011 through spring of 2012- Lobby Gallery)
Walter W. de Lacy’s original manuscript map of Montana Territory, 1865
Montana Historical Society Research Center, B-1
Modernist architecture took root in post -World War
II America, fueled by a rapidly expanding national economy and a
demand for new building stock following lean years of financial
depression and war. In Montana, the post-war years saw an influx of
population to the cities - particularly university towns, places
associated with military bases, and those involved in the petroleum
markets. These families needed places to live, attend school, and
conduct business. Consequently, many residences, public buildings,
and storefronts date to this era.
Newman Myrah Retrospective
(June 14, 2012 through September 1, 2012)
This special exhibit features the masterful work of Deer Lodge native Newman Myrah (1921-2010) – and showcases the tremendous breadth, depth, and talent of one of Montana’s great Western Art masters. Newman Myrah loved painting and sketching outdoors. He often used rodeos as a way to gather source material of horse and rider action for his paintings. He said: "...my interest in the horse and what the animal meant to the West determines the subject matter of many of my paintings." He was a three-time winner of the Heritage Award at the Western Rendezvous of Art and received the 2004 Montana Historical Society Rendezvous Legacy Award.
|Dusty Day Herd, by Newman Myrah, 2004 Montana Historical Society Rendezvous Legacy Award winner|
For Western Rendezvous of Art information and schedule see: http://westrendart.org