Located in Helena, MT, Montana’s Museum is a museum dedicated to collecting and preserving art, literature, and historical artifacts that are relevant to Montana’s history and significance.


1.History

History
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Since Montana’s Museum was founded, the museum has actively sought out to collect, preserve, interpret, and promote the artifacts that it displays.Montana’s Museum is ran and directed by the Montana Historical Society. The Museum has been officially accredited by the American Association of Museums.

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2.Permanent Attractions

Permanent Attractions
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Montana’s Museum has a permanent collection of over 50,000 artifacts that display a variety of time periods and significant events that occurred in Montana. If you’re interested in viewing the Museum’s permanent collection at any time, simply check out the Museum’s online collection archives.

The Mackay Gallery of Russell Art is a 2,000 square foot gallery that celebrates the art completed by Charles M. Russell. Various watercolors, inks, sculptures, and sketches are thematically placed to showcase the highlighted themes of Russell’s work. One of the most popular pieces of art in this gallery is Russell’s Cowboy Artist painting.

Neither Empty Nor Unknown: Montana at the Time of Lewis and Clark explores Montana and the specific areas that Lewis and Clark explored during the time period of 1804 to 1806. Various artifacts showcase the multi-dimensional perspectives of this time period, from the lives of the Native Americans to the uncharted wilderness.

Montana Homeland is exhibition with the overwhelming theme of people and the environment. This exhibit showcases what life was like throughout the ages in Montana. Everything from the personal lives of people to the overall community is explored. Concentrations in this exhibit include how people interacted with the environment, the various technological advancements that were created to make life easier, and how everyday activities reflected the community’s relationship with the environment. Overall, Montana Homeland explores the notion that people and the environment have a close and impactful relationship.

Big Medicine is a display of the widely renowned and celebrated white bison, Big Medicine. White bison are known to be extremely rare, and have historically only appeared once out of every five million bison births. Many Indians regard white bison to be extremely sacred and even hold spiritual powers and reputations. So, when a white buffalo calf was born on May 3, 1933, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes celebrated the birth and regarded it as a blessing. Named for his significance and recognition, Big Medicine had some pigmentation that made him a white buffalo and not a pure albino. When Big Medicine passed away in 1959, arrangements were made to permanently preserve him.

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3.Special Attractions

Special Attractions
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While Montana’s Museum has a dense and comprehensive permanent collection, Montana’s Museum hosts special attractions throughout the year that match up to the Museum’s mission and initiatives.

Big Game, Big Stories: Montana’s Hunting Heritage is a special attraction that showcases the hunting history of Montana. Artifacts within this exhibit include first person stories from people who were prominent in the hunting industry, as well as stories that have been passed down. This exhibit will be featured until fall 2017.

Hooked: Fishing in Montana is another special attraction that shows a different side to Montana’s history. This exhibit features artifacts that represent and showcase how fishing had evolved and played a significant role in Montana’s history.

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4.Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
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Montana’s Museum’s dedication to education is shown within the Museum’s extensive educational opportunities. These educational opportunities range from specialized guided tours to workshops and activities, as well as access to borrow some of the Museum’s collection for educational and research purposes.

The most popular educational opportunity at Montana’s Museum is the specialized tour program. The Museum offers a dense variety of specialized tours that allow schools and groups to gain a new insight and perspective of Montana’s history, specifically the concentrated areas of Montana’s history that is represented within the museum. Schools and groups have the opportunity to choose a specialized tour from twelve options. Each option has a different tour guide, lesson plan, initiative, and activity. Although tours differ among what is being taught and what area of the Museum is being showcased, each tour has the opportunity for a pre-tour and post-tour lesson plan. If schools and groups opt for the lesson plans, a tour guide will lead a mini lesson prior to giving the tour, then give another mini lesson after the tour to sum up the main points and information.

Back to: Things to Do in Helena

Montana Historical Society 225 North Roberts, Helena, Montana, Phone: 406-444-2694

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Things to Do in Helena, MT: Montana's Museum