News and Events | Montana Museum of Art & Culture | October 2011

In This Issue
Through November 19, 2011
Please Become a Member
Ben Steele Opening Reception
New Gift to MMAC
Tech Fair at the University Center



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Meloy & Paxson Galleries


Tues., Wed., Sat. 12 - 3pm
Thurs. & Fri. 12 - 6pm 












The Waterline at Camp O'Donnell

War Torn: The Art of Ben Steele,
Paintings and Drawings from the Bataan
Death March

Through November 19, 2011
Meloy and Paxson Galleries 

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture exhibits the art of WWII, Bataan Death March survivor and Montana artist Ben Steele.  Steele's life story is an extraordinary account of survival, forgiveness and reconciliation.  Part of the MMAC Permanent Collection, this gift by Ben and Shirley Steele is an important part of Montana's cultural heritage.
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, MOLLI course by Dr. James V. Koch, President Emeritus, UM and Old Dominion University titled "WWII in the Pacific", 9 - 10:30am Thursdays, October 13 - November 17. 
  • Osher Lifelong learning Institute at UM, MOLLI short course titled "Surviving Bataan: The Art of Ben Steele" featuring the exhibition and the book Tears in the Darkness, Instructors: Dr. Herbert Swick and Keith Hardin; 9 - 10:30am Fridays, October 14, 21, and Oct 28 with special guest Ben Steele. 
  • Thursday, October 27th at 7pm, lecture and book signing by Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman, authors of the New York Times Best Selling book Tears in the Darkness, PAR TV Center Montana Theater with special guest Ben Steele.   
  • Thursday, November 10th at 5:15pm, Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program "War Poetry: Poetry is in the Pity" by Lisa Simon, UM Professor of English, in observance of Veterans Day in the PAR TV Center Montana Theatre.
  • Tuesday, November 15th at 7pm, lecture and film "The Tragedy of Bataan" produced by Jan Thompson, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Associate Professor and President of the Descendants Group Auxiliary of the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor. The film is narrated by Alec Baldwin. In the PAR TV Center Masquer Theater in cooperation with Montana Broadcast Media Center.


    Image: Ben Steele, The Water Line at Camp O'Donnell, One Pump for More than 9,000 Americans, 1956, oil on panel, 24 x 48 inches, gift of Ben and Shirley Steele, MMAC Permanent Collection.   


    This is the time to join us for 2011-2012 membership at the level that works for you.  MMAC receives no operating support through state funds, so we rely on your help and support each year.  Click here to Become a Member today to ensure our continued success in presenting the best exhibitions and programs we can for you!  Thank you.


    Champion Members Donna and James Koch state the following about MMAC membership: 


    "The MMAC is a treasure chest overflowing with Montana jewels such as the paintings of Fra Dana, past and contemporary American Indian artistry, and the powerful WWII painting and drawings of Ben Steele.  The Museum delights us with art from all parts of the U.S. and far off lands, bringing us Pulitzer Prize winning photographs in dramatic black and white and the paintings of Renoir and Gauguin in dazzling colors. Who wouldn't want to help spread out these jewels for all to see. The MMAC staff displays them beautifully, but, oh, to have a setting truly fitting their worth!  We support the MMAC so that it can continue to enrich us in beauty and education, and we look forward to the day when it has a home equal to its worth".



    War Torn: The Art of Ben Steele, Paintings and Drawings from the Bataan Death March opening reception


    Through November 19, 2011

    Meloy and Paxson Galleries


    On Friday, September 23, 2011, MMAC had the immense honor of presenting the inaugural celebration and exhibition Opening Reception for War Torn: The Art of Ben Steele, Paintings and Drawings from the Bataan Death March with special guests Ben and Shirley Steele. The event featured live music by the Cosmopolitan Caravan, and vocalist John Semmons. The UM ROTC Color Guard presented the flag, and remarks from MMAC Director Barbara Koostra, Montana Historical Society Director Bruce Whittenberg, UM President Royce Engstrom and Ben Steele followed.


    Part of the MMAC Permanent Collection, the gift of Ben and Shirley Steele is an important part of Montana's cultural heritage and a national treasure.  Future plans for the exhibition include a national tour.



    Edna Dinwiddie

    David and Tanya Cameron have donated a rare painting by Fra Dana to the MMAC Permanent Collection. Portrait of Edna Dinwiddie joins two other depictions of the artist's sister already in the collection dating from 1938 or 1939  when Fra and Edna lived in Great Falls.  The painting, received conservation treatment in 2006 thanks to the Chutney Foundation and has been on loan from the Camerson's since 1992.  It joins more than 36 Dana works in the Permanent Collection, the single largest repository of Dana's work in the world.


    In 1948, Dana left The University of Montana a gift of her own artworks and those by some of history's most noted artists.  The collection includes traditional Japanese prints, prints by Honoré Daumier and Jean Louis Forain and paintings by Joseph Henry Sharp, Alfred Maurer, William Merritt Chase and others.  Her gift is central to the richness of the MMAC Permanent Collection and integral to the development of American art. The Cameron's generous donation was made in anticipation of the upcoming exhibition and first-ever biography of Dana to be presented later this fall, Fra Dana: American Impressionist in the Rockies.


    Image: Fra Dana, Portrait of Edna Dinwiddie, ca. 1938-1939, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches, gift of David G. and Tanya A. Cameron, MMAC Permanent Collection.  



    Guide by Cell Please, turn your cell phones ON! 


     On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, MMAC participated in The University

     of Montana Tech Fair at the University Center.  Administrative Assistant,

     Michelle Weber and UM student intern, Sarah Widhalm answered

     questions and offered information about MMAC's audio guide system which

     provides educational information about our exhibits using cell phones.  MMAC

     also provides iPods at the Meloy and Paxson galleries.  


     To access the audio guide, call (406) 225-7068, and enter the item

     number next to the artwork.  You may remain connected throughout your

     visit, or hang up and call back.


     You may listen to descriptions in any order or leave feedback on a particular piece of artwork or the exhibition as a whole.


    War Torn: The Art of Ben Steele, Paintings and Drawings from the Bataan Death March features artist Ben Steele's voice on the audio tour, recounting his experiences as a POW.