The Missoula County Art Collection at MAM consists of artworks collected by the Missoula Museum of the Arts, a County agency, between 1973 and 1994, at which time the museum became an independent non-profit called the Art Museum of Missoula.
The first acquisitions were works that received juror’s awards at the Missoula Festival of the Arts, a summer event started in 1973 that provided the groundswell of community support that established the Missoula Museum of the Arts in 1975. These first purchases, Snow Dance by Gennie DeWeese, Eggs on Table by Walter Hook, and 122 North Prairie by Jessie Wilber, exemplify a commitment to Montana Modernism that continues to this day.These works are the property of Missoula County but are managed by MAM. In a cooperative relationship that has remained fruitful for four decades, Missoula County provides fine arts insurance coverage for all artworks in MAM’s possession, while MAM ensures that the County collection is well-managed, safely stored, and accessible to the public through exhibitions at the museum and the Art in Public Places Program, which installs artwork in City and County public spaces. MAM staff also assist the County with special projects, such as the care of the historic E.S. Paxson murals at the Courthouse.
Pictured above: Nancy Erickson, Rabbit Dance with Jupiter, dyed and appliqued cotton and satin, 1980, 45 1/4" x 89", Missoula County Art Collection at MAM, Purchase, First Bank System Fund, 1982.16.