Photographing Montana 1894-1928: The World of Evelyn Cameron
The Montana Historical Society’s nationally acclaimed traveling exhibit includes 47 striking photographs reproduced from Cameron’s glass-plate and nitrate negatives that record the early days on the western frontier and the coming of the homesteaders that changed the face of the land forever. Watch the outstanding PBS film, Evelyn Cameron, A Worthy Life, in a re-created cabin.
This Land is Your Land Western Landscapes
Enjoy the beauty of the west, featuring the artistry of Clyde Aspevig, Phillip Goodwin, Joseph Henry Sharp, Ben Steele, Hans Kleiber, Oscar Borg, and Charles Partridge Adam. This special collection is from the Dale and Mary Hawkins Art Collection donated to the museum in 2010.
Ben Steele Prisioner of War: Pen and Ink Illustrations
A Place Called Thorofare: People, Wilderness and Wildlife Management
2005 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Thorofare cabin, the center of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's backcountry outpost lying in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – the most remote spot in the lower forty-eight states. Through historical and contemporary photography, the exhibition explores the spectacular Thorofare region, the cabin and its builders, and those who have used the outpost to help conserve wildlands and wildlife in this unique place. Since 1955, the outpost has been used for landmark wildlife research, monitoring, and management of grizzly, elk, wolf and numerous other species. Learn how it will be used to deal with more wildlife challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.
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Parading through History: The Apsaalooke Nation
This new traveling exhibit chronicles the history of the Crow Indians or Apsaalooke. Visitors will learn the history of the tribe starting with first contact with Europeans, hear the stories of modern day tribal members and learn their opinions on where they see the tribe in the future, learn Crow words, and view Crow artifacts.
Ben Steele: WWII POW Exhibit
Ben Steele, of Billings, MT, was one of thousands of American soldiers captured in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II. His three and one half years as a prisoner of war began with the infamous "Bataan Death March.," a 60-mile march that occurred after the three-month Battle of Bataan, part of the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42). He was later interned under the severe conditions of several Japanese labor camps. His captivity ended after working in a Japanese coal mine less than 80 miles from the ground zero of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
During his internment, he began drawing images that recorded the extent of human degradation. The consequences of being caught making these drawings could have resulted in severe punishment or execution. He did drawings on whatever scraps of paper he could find and with whatever he could use to make a mark. The drawings were hidden and kept, but all but two were destroyed in the sinking of a transport boat that was taking the prisoners to the Japanese Mainland. Steele then produced more drawings and several oil paintings that graphically document the suffering shared by the prisoners. Several of the larger oil paintings will be on display at the Western Heritage Center this summer. Tears in the Darkness, a new book featuring Steele’s life story, written by Michael and Elizabeth Norman, has been receiving national acclaim and Steele was recently interviewed by the NY Times and Washington Post.
Montana Ghost Towns: The Photography of Denes G. Istvanffy
By age sixteen, Denes G. Istvanffy was an award winning photographer in his native country, Hungary. In 1948, he emigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Billings, Montana. He was passionate about Montana ghost towns and mining camps and began photographing them in 1957. He was particularly drawn to nineteenth century mining towns, such as Bannack, Virginia City, Elkhorn, Marysville, and Garnet. Under a license from the Montana Centennial Commission in 1989, Istvanffy choose 30 images from his collection of nearly 1,000 to create this traveling exhibit. For Istvanffy, the photographic possibilities were endless and the images of mining in Montana were fairly recent and close to hand.
Blackfeet Tipi Legends
During the summers of 1944 and 1945, Olga Ross Hannon and Jessie Wilbur created sixteen silk-screen color reproductions of painted Blackfeet tipis . These prints and associated Blackfeet stories, recorded by Cecile Black Boy in the 1940s, were combined in a traveling exhibit by the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, with funding from the Montana Arts Council.
Antelope Tipi, 1944
Beaver Tipi of Cecile and Ruben Black Boy - 1942-1944
We're Making History: Billings' First 125 Years
Opened exactly 125 years after the Minnesota and Montana Land & Improvement Company formed to create our fair city, the museum main gallery will feature an 18 month exhibit entitled We’re Making History: Billings’ First 125 Years. The exhibit explores the formation of the “Magic City” and the “Midland Empire” from its beginnings as a railroad town and irrigated farming community to its rise as the largest city on the Northern Plains. The exhibit features never-before-seen artifacts, kid-friendly interactive displays, community outreach projects, and a monthly speaker series.
In 1882, Billings began as a railroad town along the Northern Pacific Railway tracks. Named after Frederick Billings, former Northern Pacific Railroad Railway president, the city was influenced by other railroads, including the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and Great Northern in the late 19th and early 20th century. This exhibit explores the impact of railroads on Billings and the creation of Yellowstone County in 1883 via unusual artifacts, a short film about railroads, a replica of a railroad depot, historic maps and photographs. The exhibit includes a play area for children.
Recreated railroad depot with railroad film. Calamity Jane with soldiers in Billings, American Railway Strike.
On Track: The Railroad Photographs of Warren McGee
On Track: The Railroad Photographs of Warren McGee, a traveling exhibit of the Montana Historical Society, celebrates the stunning photographs taken by railroad employee, Warren McGee over a 60 year period. The exhibit it chronicles and pays tribute to trains in 20th century Montana and the surrounding region. It is jointly sponsored by the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association, the Montana Department of Transportation, and the Montana Historical Society
The Real West: Farming and Ranching Families of the Yellowstone River Valley
An exhibit sharing the experiences of 30 farmers, ranchers, and homemakers from the Yellowstone Riverregion opens at the Western Heritage Center on April 16 and will be displayed through May 7th. The exhibit, The Real West: Farming and Ranching Families of the Yellowstone River Valley.
Historic photos and oral history quotes show a material world long gone, yet still demonstrates how we are all linked to the past. The 59 photographs, taken by Otho Hartley (1895-1964) and Howard Thompson (1907-2000), are from the Powell County Museum & Arts Foundation of Deer Lodge, Montana. The oral history quotes were derived from a 2003 project by Powell County High School in Deer Lodge. The exhibit was made possible from a grant with the Montana Committee for the Humanities and Powell County Museum & Arts Foundation.