New Exhibits Opening at the Northwest Montana History Museum!!

The Northwest Montana Historical Society will celebrate the unveiling of two new historical exhibitions at the Northwest Montana History Museum during a special reception on Tuesday, June 9th, from 5 to 7 pm.

Gold Dust: Montana's Haunted Landscapes, from photographer and visual artist Clayton McDougall, tries to capture that fleeting period in an expressive and creative way that breathes new life back into these now derelict locations. This exhibition features more than a dozen photographic studies of places that got so hot so fast that they quickly burned out, as well as locations that never seemed to meet the potential that was envisioned for them.

Gold Dust shows the degradation found in these ghost towns and turns it into something beautiful; the photographs in this exhibition seek to document these relics of Montana's territorial past on their own terms. All of these images were captured on expired Kodak 35mm film and printed on a wood panel. In it's own time, each will deteriorate in a similar manner to the structures they depict.

In addition to Gold Dust, The Northwest Montana Historical Society is also debuting it's new exhibition On a Passing Frontier. This permanent exhibit examines life in Northwest Montana before the Flathead Valley was widely settled. It was a time when American Indian camps were still plentiful, when trapping and trading was the largest industry in the Valley, and when pioneers like Frank Bird Linderman set the course for Montana's future.

Containing hundreds of photographs and authentic artifacts, this all-encompassing exhibition tells the earliest stories of the region and will will serve as a cornerstone of the Northwest Montana History Museum. On a Passing Frontier is the Museum's largest and most ambitious display since the opening of Flathead Valley History in July of 2013.

Tuesday, June 9, 5:00 - 7:00pm
Northwest Montana History Museum
124 Second Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901

This special event is free and open to the public. Photographer Clayton McDougall will be present to discuss his photography in Gold Dust, and the Museum's Curation team will be happy to answer any questions about On a Passing Frontier. In addition to these two new exhibitions, all of the galleries in the Museum will be open to visitors, as will the Museum's Schoolbell Books & Gifts.

Everyone is always welcome at the Northwest Montana History Museum. However,if you have a cough, a fever, or are just feeling under the weather, we kindly ask that you visit us some other time; not only of your own health, but but for the well-being of our staff and other supporters. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, heightened precautions and additional protections will be implemented for the June 9th event.

Gold Dust will be on display through the summer, while On a Passing Frontier is a permanent addition to the Museum. The Northwest Montana History Museum is regularly open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5.

Historic Film Club

Free Admission! Free Popcorn!
Monday, June 22, 7pm

City Lights (1931)

A madcap dash of a film revolving around a lovable Tramp, a drunk millionaire, and a blind girl selling flowers, City Lights sees Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp ensue in a lifetime’s worth of slapstick hilarity in the film’s 87 minute runtime.

Even though “talkies” were all the rage at the time the movie was made, the silent City Lights is now considered one of the greatest films of all time. It was a film close to the heart of Chaplin, who wrote, produced, directed, and starred in City Lights; he even composed the film’s score.


History Book Club

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2:00pm

Arbuckle by Russell Rowland

When Catherine Boland meets a shy young ranch hand at the bank where she works, she has no idea that he just took part in a recent vigilante hanging that she has been very outspoken about. And although George Arbuckle was not a willing participant in that hanging, he worries that once Catherine learns about his participation, he will lose her for good. This is just the first of the challenges facing this young couple in late 19th century Montana.