For people who enjoy history, art and learning about how things were prior to now, you probably also love going to museums. Montana boasts an impressive number of museums and art galleries, 274 to be exact!
With so many museums spread out over the state, I can easily see why it would be so hard to figure out which ones to go to and which ones are worth the time. As we know some museums, if not put together well, can turn out to be pretty boring and uneventful. Here are some of the Montana museums that are not a waste of time.
The CM Russell Museum: Established in 1953, the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana owns the most complete collection of Charles Russell art and personal objects in the world. C.M Russell was an artist of the American West who created paintings of cowboys, Indians and landscapes set in the Western United States. He also created bronze sculptures. The permanent collection at The C.M. Russell Museum is comprised of over 12,000 paintings and objects.
The Moss Mansion: Located in Billings, this historic house museum captures early turn-of-the-century life of the Preston Boyd Moss family. The mansion is a red sandstone structure built in 1903 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will see original draperies, fixtures, furniture, Persian carpets and artifacts during their guided tour. The Moss Mansion was designed by Henry Jane Hardenbergh who also designed the original Waldorf-Astoria.
The Yellowstone Art Museum: Also located in Billings, the Yellowstone Art Museum is an important visual arts center for the surrounding region. Founded in 1964, it is now a fully accredited Museum. There are over 3,000 painting and objects which have exceeded all expectations of growth and popularity of the museum.
The Western Heritage Center: This historic building is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in Billings as well, it was originally the Parmly Billings Library, built in 1901 by Billings founder as a memorial to his son, Parmly. Within the beautiful main floor old oak galleries are changing exhibits where the stories of peoples of the Yellowstone River Valley unfold.
Museum of the Rockies: One of the most popular museums can be found in Bozeman, Montana. The Museum of the Rockies focuses mainly on dinosaurs and Paleontology, but also houses an amazing Planetarium for a new perspective on Montana’s Big Sky. There is also a great exhibit on Lewis & Clark, often thought of as America’s greatest adventure story. Another great feature is the living farm which allows kids to see and also experience what life was like over a century ago on a Montana homestead.
Of course there are many amazing Montana museums that I could cover, but it would be hard to cover the many aspects of each museum in just one article. The few that I have listed are some of the more exciting and equally entertaining museums for both adults and children, which as we all know, is a very important quality!
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