MAM Collection

Holly Andres, Huntresses with Fallen FawnNearly 1,600 artworks by more than 500 artists working in media ranging from painting and sculpture to music and time-based installations. With an emphasis on contemporary art, MAM also collects historic works, archival materials, and ethnographic objects vital to this place.

After MAM transformed to an independent non-profit, then called the Art Museum of Missoula, in 1995, gifts to the Collection dramatically increased. I n the mid-2000s, g rowing an exceptional and regionally distinct collection was a major strategic focus in programming and the impetus for a building renovation and expansion that was completed in 2005. That same year, an enthusiastic community donated more artworks to MAM than ever before.

Over the next decade, MAM's state-of-the-art, climate controlled storage vault filled with extraordinary singular objects, such as Ursula Von Rydingsvard’s Poskubana and Rick Bartow’s Rider V, as well as significant collections, including 39 of the most exquisite pieces from nationally regarded the Willem and Diane Volkersz Contemporary American Folk Art Collection and 300 Hmong textiles . Additionally, planned donors have identified extensive collections of artworks, books, and archival materials destined for MAM. To advance the Collection into a new era of growth and access, MAM is developing solutions for expanded, forward-thinking, collaborative resources, starting with the MAM CARES project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Rooted in MAM programming, the Collection has evolved to reflect exhibitions and artists of this community, in particular. Two signature areas distinguish the MAM Collection: works by contemporary American Indian artists and Montana Modernists.

  • Contemporary American Indian Art Collection
    MAM is situated on the traditional, ancestral territories of the Séliš (Salish or “Flathead”) and Qlispé (upper Kalispel or Pend d’Oreille) peoples. Their rich cultures are fundamental to artistic life in Montana and to the work of MAM. Out of respect for the indigenous stewards of the land it occupies, MAM established its Contemporary American Indian Art Collection in 1997 with a gift of two prints by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith from the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper. The Collection has grown to more than 250 works, reputedly one of the largest collections of its kind in the northern Plains. At the core of the collection are artists from tribes in Montana, such as Smith (Salish-Kootenai, Métis-Cree, Shoshone-Bannock), Corwin Clairmont (Salish-Kootenai), Neil Parsons (Southern Pikuni), Ernie Pepion (Blackfeet), and Susan Stewart (Crow). Additionally, acquisitions by Joe Feddersen (Colville), Chris Pappan (Osage, Kaw, Cheyenne River Sioux), Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos), Melanie Yazzie (Navajo), and many others from throughout the central and western United States represent MAM’s expanding commitment and service to the wider region.
  • Montana Modernists
    Artists such as Frances Senska, Rudy & Lela Autio, and Robert & Gennie DeWeese were the state’s first wave of modernists who, as educators and activists, created Montana’s premier spaces for contemporary art and encouraged creative exchanges that allowed the arts to flourish in an otherwise expansive, isolated region. MAM’s commitment to celebrating and preserving the legacy of Modernism is evident in holdings by these artists and others, including Aden Arnold (1901-1973), Maxine Blackmer (1915-2005), Freeman Butts (1928-1998), James Dew (1922-2012), Walter Hook (1919-1989), Branson Stevenson (1901-1989), and Jessie Wilber (1912-1989).

Pictured above: Holly Andres, Huntresses with Fallen Fawn, archival pigment print on Sintra, 2017, 28 x 42", Missoula Art Museum Collection, Commissioned with a grant from the Pleiades Foundation, 2017.26

View catalogued works in the MAM Collection

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