News and Events | Montana Museum of Art & Culture | October 2010


MMAC October Newsletter

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In This Issue
Ben Steele Collection
On View Now
President's Choice
More MMAC Updates
Coming Next
Quick Links



Cover of Gibson Book

Meloy & Paxson Galleries


Gallery Hours:

Noon - 3pm Tues, Wed, Sat
Noon - 6pm Thurs - Fri



MMAC proudly announces an important addition to the MMAC Permanent Collection: 11 oil paintings and 78 drawings by noted artist Ben Steele. These works will be on view at MMAC in Fall 2011.  

Ben Steele, a survivor of the horrendous WWII Bataan Death March in the Philippines and a prisoner of war in Japan, used found paper and salvaged charcoal to document his ordeal of unparalleled cruelty and savagery--forty-one months of starvation, dehydration, hard labor, torture and a journey on notorious "hell ships" to the Japanese homeland.

Crippled by dysentery, pneumonia, malaria, blood poisoning and beri beri, Steele miraculously survived before being liberated in 1945. His drawings were smuggled out of the prison camps, but unfortunately lost. During his year-long recuperation in a Spokane hospital, Steele recreated these drawings. Following his recovery, he pursued a degree at the Cleveland Institute of Art where he studied with noted artists George Grosz, Hans Mueller and Clarence Van Duzer. Steele later received teaching credentials from Kent State University and earned a Masters of Art from the University of Denver.



Images: (top) Ben Steele, The Water Line at Camp O'Donnell, One Pump for More than 9,000 Americans, oil on canvas, n.d.  

ON VIEW through October 23, 2010

 The Original Man: The Life and Work of Montana Architect A.J. Gibson


Gibson model house

MMAC celebrates the legacy of the area's best-known architect A.J. Gibson, who defined great architecture in Western Montana and Northern Idaho. Gibson designed and built private homes, grand residences and civic structures--including the first five buildings on the UM campus, the Ravalli and Missoula County courthouses and the Daly Mansion. Included are models constructed by members of the American Institute of Architects - Montana chapter, reproductions of Gibson's architectural plans, drawings, scrapbooks, photo albums and architectural fragments.

On September 16, Dr. Rafael Chacn, co-curator of the exhibition and author of the biography by theDr. Rafael Chacon same name, gave a presentation that wrapped up this traveling exhibition. Dr. Chacn, UM professor of art history and criticism, has given dozens of talks around Montana since the book's publication in 2008. His humorous style and infectious enthusiasm for the project entertained and informed hundreds. The Montana Museum of Art & Culture is deeply grateful to Dr. Chacn for his exemplary efforts, consummate professionalism and passion for art.

Images: (top) Model of Shoemaker Residence prepared by MacArthur, Means, and Wells for the Gibson traveling exhibition; (bottom) Dr. Rafael Chacn
The Montana Museum of Art & Culture honors outgoing University of Montana president George M. Dennison with an exhibition of his selections from the museum's Permanent Collection. 

"President's Choice," is now on view in the reception area of the President's Office, located in UM's Main Hall. Public viewing is welcome from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Dennison's selections include portraits by Rembrant's first pupil, Gerrit Dou (Dutch, 1613 - 1675), the school of Allan Ramsay (Scottish, 1713 - 1784), Ilya Efimovich Repin (Ukrainian, 1844 - 1930) and William Merritt Chase (American, 1849 - 1916). He contributed insightful remarks that accompany each work.

An astute art observer, Dennison selected the four paintings from the more than 10,000 objects in UM's Permanent Collection, in existence since 1894. He has been a supporter of MMAC, the Permanent Collection and plans for a new museum building.

Image: Ilya Repin, Portrait of A.E. Arkhipov, pastel and charcoal on paper, late 19th, early 20th century, 29 x 21 x 1/2 inches, donated by Eugene Lyons in 1962

MMAC table at Welcome Feast


Recent Activities
During the past month, MMAC participated in two campus events; "Welcome Feast" (left) took place September 3rd to welcome all UM students faculty and staff to the new school year. On September 22nd, MMAC participated in the first annual Technology Fair, which featured departments from across campus using technology in exciting new ways. Attendees learned about MMAC's Guide by Cell audio system.  


Bi-annual Advisory Council Meeting
MMAC advisors met Homecoming Weekend to discuss museum business. MMAC extends a sincere thank you to these important volunteers. It was Advisor Leslie Cox's "favorite meeting ever!" 

MMAC Staff Attending MAGDA Conference
Curator of Art Brandon Reintjes and Exhibitions Coordinator Lucy Capehart are visiting Chico Hot Springs to attend the annual conference for the Museum and Art Gallery Directors Association (MAGDA). They will meet with museum and gallery professionals from across the state, attend presentations and consider a host of traveling exhibitions available as part of MAGDA's blockbooking service. 

November 12, 2010 - March 12, 2011

Giacoma NevayRenoire, Magritte, Gauguin and other European Masterpieces from a Private Collection

This exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity for Montana citizens and visitors to experience works by some of the most notable artists from the late 18th to the early 20th Century. Largely centered on portraiture, the exhibition includes works by Alexander Archipenko, Rosa Bonheur, William Bourgereau, Max Ernst, Paul Gauguin, Ren Magritte, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, George Romney, Thophile van Rysselberghe and John William Waterhouse.

Three Centuries of European Prints

from the MMAC Permanent Collection
Concurrent with Renoir, Magritte, Gauguin and other European Masterpieces from a Private Collection, this exhibition will include never before exhibited prints from MMAC's Permanent Collection by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Charles - Nicolas Cochin (after Carl van Loo), Nicolas De Larmessin (after Nicholas Lancret), Jean - Michel Moreau and Franois Boucher (after Antoine Watteaur), as well as more familiar works by Honor Daumier, Jean Louis Forain, Eugne Delacrois, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Marc Chagall, Kath Kollwitz, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and Joan Mir.

Image: Giacoma Nevay (Italian, 1764 - 1791), Untitled, one of four etchings on a single page, 4 x 2 1/2 inches
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