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

In This Issue
Lecture and Book signing
Coming in December
Permanent Collection Treasure



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Meloy & Paxson Galleries


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





Normans and Ben Steele

Tears in the Darkness

On Thursday, October 27, 2011, MMAC hosted a lecture and book signing by New York Times best-selling authors Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman who penned Tears in the Darkness.  The program was presented in conjunction with War Torn: The Art of Ben Steele: Paintings and Drawings from the Bataan Death March. The exhibition features oil paintings and drawings by Montana artist, WWII Veteran and Bataan Death March survivor Ben Steele,  the subject of the Norman's book.  Ben Steele and his wife Shirley attended the lecture and Mr. Steele joined the authors on stage for questions.  Following the lecture, all three signed copies of Tears in the Darkness in the PAR TV lobby.  War Torn continues at MMAC through November 19, 2011.



Lisa Simon

"War Poetry: Poetry is in the Pity" 


Thursday, November 10, 2011, 5:15pm

PARTV Center Montana Theater


Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program "War Poetry: Poetry is in the Pity"

by Lisa Simon, UM Professor of English, in observance of Veterans Day.

Lisa Simon emphasizes the lived experiences of war from the positions of those who feel its effects both at home and on the battlefields, beginning with the poetry of WWI. She also employs a unique multimedia presentation.  Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana's Cultural Trust and from NEH's "We the People" program. The presentation is free and open to the public. 



Jan Thompson -Tragedy of BataanThe Tragedy of Bataan    


Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 7pm  

PARTV Center Masquer Theater


MMAC will present the film The Tragedy of Bataan produced and written by Jan Thompson, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Associate Professor and President of the Descendants Group Auxiliary of the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor. The Tragedy of Bataan features first-person accounts by over 20 survivors of the conflict, archival photos, and never-before-seen Japanese propaganda film footage. Narrated by acclaimed actor Alec Baldwin, the documentary, presented in cooperation with Montana Broadcast Media Center, chronicles the fall of the Philippines and the Bataan Death March in the early months of World War II.  The presentation is free and open to the public. 


Fra Dana: American Impressionist in the Rockies


December 2 - February 25, 2011

Meloy Gallery


Fra Dana (1874-1948), a cattle rancher who lived near Great Falls, was one of the leading artists of the Rocky Mountain Northwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana on November 26, 1874, Dana studied art at the Cincinnati Art Academy, the Art Institute of Chicago and New York School of Art. In 1893, Dana moved with her family to Parkman, Wyoming and met her future husband, Edwin L. Dana. The two married in 1896 and worked together to develop what was, by 1918, America's largest purebred Hereford operation in Montana and Wyoming. Her desire to study and create art was often in conflict with her obligation as a ranch wife.


Dana traveled annually to major urban centers such as New York City, London and Paris to pursue her artistic studies. She associated with Mary Cassatt, Gertrude Stein, Alfred Maurer and Joseph Henry Sharp and was a student of William Merritt Chase. Her art bequest to the Montana Museum of Art & Culture's Permanent Collection in 1948 includes her own works and those by some of history's most accomplished artists.  The Dana collection is central to the richness of the MMAC Permanent Collection and integral to the development of American art. Her collection includes traditional Japanese prints, a large number of prints by Honoré Daumier and Jean Louis Forain and paintings by Joseph Henry Sharp, Alfred Maurer, William Merritt Chase, Douglas John Connah, Elling William Gollings and others.


Fra Dana - book cover w/textIn time for holiday gift giving!


The Montana Museum of Art & Culture is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of the first-ever biography of Dana, authored by Dr. Valerie Hedquist, Associate Professor of Art History and Criticism, The University of Montana and Sue Hart, Professor in the Philosophy and Modern Languages department, Montana State University - Billings.  The biography was edited by Caroline Patterson.






James Todd-Death Dance


MMAC proudly announces a gift of 82 artworks by artist James Todd. The works chronicle Todd's UM career beginning in 1969 as a graduate student, his service as Chair of the School of Art, his 1988 retirement and current standing as Professor Emeritus.  Of particular note are drawings and paintings documenting  a 1984 Faculty Exchange & Sabbatical to China, including travels across Siberia and Outer Mongolia, and a 1995 USIA/Russian international exchange. This body of work affords new insights into the range of Todd's influences and strengthens the Permanent  Collection and its holdings by former students and faculty.  MMAC is grateful for this wonderful gift by James G. and Julia Todd.




 Image:  James Todd, Death Dance, (detail), 1966, Pen and Ink, gift of James G. and Julia Todd, MMAC Permanent Collection.