Last chance to see Catlin exhibit at Russell Museum

Art Beat

“Buffalo Hunt, Wolf-skin Mask” by George Catlin

The special summer exhibition, “George Catlin’s American Buffalo,” will be on display at the C.M. Russell Museum through Sept. 14. Visitors and the community are invited to view the exhibition, on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, one last time before it leaves Great Falls in mid-September.

The exhibition includes 40 original paintings by Catlin (1796-1872) from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection that show the crucial role of the buffalo in Plains Indian culture. Catlin (1796-1872) was among the earliest artists of European descent to record what he called the “manners and customs” of American Indians west of the Mississippi River. His paintings capture the bison’s central importance to tribal life, offering a rich counterpoint to the Russell’s permanent exhibition, “The Bison: American Icon, Heart of Plains Indian Culture.”

The exhibit is organized by the Smithsonian in collaboration with the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Adam Duncan Harris, the Petersen Curator of Art and Research at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, is the guest curator. A catalog accompanies the exhibition, and features an essay and entries on each artwork in by Harris. It is available for purchase in the C.M. Russell Museum Store for $49.95 (hardcover only).

“The Yellowstone Suite: Thomas Moran’s Vision of the West” continues through mid-January and features 15 rare chromolithographic prints, based on watercolors by the famed landscape artist that capture spectacular scenes from the Yellowstone region. He created the images during his visit to the area in 1871, and the paintings and illustrations helped convince Congress to establish the first national part a year later.

“The Collector’s Vision: Selections from the Thomas A. Petrie Collection” highlights six masterworks by Charles M. Russell and nine paintings by Russell’s friends and colleagues through Dec. 31.

Call 406-727-8787 or visit for details.