Margaret

The urban-rural divide comes to heart

The first feature in 2024 for the Northwest Montana History Museum’s Movie Night at the Museum is the 1927 silent romantic drama Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. The film screens 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23.  The movie marked the American film debut of German director F.W. Murnau and stars George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, and Margaret Livingston.  

Livingston plays a city woman vacationing in the country who meets and falls in love with a farmer (O’Brien). Torn between his love for his wife (Gaynor) and his new love who wants him to sell his farm and move with her to the city, O’Brien finds himself agreeing  to kill his wife so they can be together. But, as in life, all does not go according to plan in this story of love, loss, and redemption.    

Murnau was the first director to use the new Fox Movietone sound-on film system, making this one of the first feature films with a synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.

At the first Academy Awards in 1929, the film won an Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Picture while Gaynor received Best Actress in a Leading Role. Critics have called Sunrise the greatest film of the silent era.  

Doors open 6:50 p.m. Admission and popcorn are free, but donations are gladly accepted to defray costs. Soda pop, water, beer, and wine are available for purchase. Seating is provided, but viewers can bring their own cushions or seating if they like.

The Northwest Montana History Museum brings the past alive through exhibits, artifacts, educational programs, and events. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 124 Second Ave. E., Kalispell. Call 406-756-8381.

Shop Small on Nov. 25 for big impact

In honor of campaigns to bolster local economies during the holiday season, the Northwest Montana History Museum welcomes book lovers and shoppers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25.

All books are discounted by 10 percent (that means 20 percent off for museum members) and many other items will be on sale. For more than two decades the bookstore and gift shop at the museum has served as a go-to for unique history- and Montana-themed titles and items.

In addition, from 10 a.m. to noon popular local author John Fraley will be on-site to sign books and catch up with his growing fan base. Fraley’s well-researched tales of early Montanans and their adventures–including his own as chronicled in his fifth, most recent book, My Wilderness Life–are always a hit with readers.

Stop by to browse, chat, and make a big impact by “shopping small” at your history museum.

2024 John White Series speakers ready to roll

For 22 years, the Northwest Montana History Museum has organized presentations on the many facets of Montana history for its John White Series.

Regularly selling out, the subjects of John White Series talks last year ranged from historic fire lookouts of Northwest Montana, Kalispell’s bustling vintage theater scene, and underwater shipwrecks in Flathead Lake. This year’s speakers delve into grizzlies, motorcycle adventuring, indigenous foods, and Meriwether Lewis’s mom.

“These talks go deep on aspects of Montana life and history that give reason to gather in winter with friends, family, and others who share curiosity for our state and its people,” museum director Margaret Davis said. “We always advise people to reserve spots early to avoid disappointment as we have had to turn people away for lack of space.”

2 p.m. Jan. 7 Ron Brevik: “Over 16 years and 70,000 miles I rode by motorcycle all of the county, state, and federal paved roads in the Treasure State”

2 p.m. Jan. 21 Kate Kendall: grizzly expert spent decades in Glacier National Park and throughout Montana

2 p.m. Feb. 4 Mary Jane Bradbury: storyteller and historic interpreter takes on Lucy Marks, mother of Corps of Discovery expeditioner Meriwether Lewis

2 p.m. Feb. 18 Mariah Gladstone: Blackfeet-Cherokee resident of Babb founded Indigikitchen (indigikitchen.com) to revitalize indigenous food knowledge

The John White Series pays tribute to longtime beloved staff members John White Sr. and Jr. of Central School. The 1894 schoolhouse is Kalispell’s oldest public building and home to the premier regional history museum, which draws thousands annually for exhibits and events year-round.

Details: 2 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 7 and 21 and Feb. 4 and 18, 2024; social time afterward

Northwest Montana History Museum, 124 2nd Ave. E., Kalispell, MT 59901; 406-756-8381; nwmthistory.org

Tickets for individual talks are $15 (members) or $20 (nonmembers). The series costs $40 (members) or $60 (nonmembers). Purchase online when links available or contact Elle Eberts-Robocker, Donna Buckalew, or Margaret Davis at the museum.

“They come closer every day, Pa”

The Northwest Montana History Museum’s Movie Night at the Museum will screen the 1965 film “Shenandoah” starring James Stewart at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28. The Civil War film also stars Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, and Patrick Wayne with Katharine Ross and Rosemary Forsyth making their film debuts. Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, the movie soundtrack prominently features the familiar American folk song “Oh Shenandoah.”

In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in 1864, family patriarch Charlie Anderson (Stewart) only wants to be left alone to manage his farm along with his six sons, daughter Jennie (Forsyth), and daughter-in-law Ann (Ross). They are not slave owners, and Charlie is not concerned with the fight between North and South nor the skirmishes and battles being fought throughout the area. He only wants to be left in peace, to attend church on Sunday (to which his large family is always late) and work his farm. While some of his sons want to fight for the Confederacy, they respect their father’s wishes and stay on the farm. But after daughter Jennie marries a Confederate officer (McClure), events bring the war to his front door and his family into the conflict.

Admission and popcorn are free, but donations are gladly accepted to defray costs. Soda pop, water, beer, and wine are available for purchase. Seating is provided, but viewers can bring their own cushions or seating if they like.

The Northwest Montana History Museum brings the past alive through exhibits, artifacts, educational programs, and events. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 124 Second Ave. E., Kalispell. Call 406-756-8381.

Santa’s sleigh is on the way

The Northwest Montana History Museum lays on the holiday spirit with an open house 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30.

Festive touches adorn every room, with highlighted history specific to each exhibit. In addition, carolers are welcome to join in as museum staffer and expert pianist Donna Buckalew takes to the keys for holiday standards in Hollensteiner-Stahl Hall.

Refreshments are on offer, including bags of goodies for the kids, other holiday treast, and hot spiced cider. The big guy in the red suit is scheduled to make an appearance for photos and any gift requests.

The late-1800s sleigh with modern props makes a perfect opportunity for pictures.

Come on out and load up on seasonal smiles and cheer.

Admission is free, and all are welcome!

Details: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023
Northwest Montana History Museum, 406-756-8381 option 6; 124 Second Ave. E., Kalispell, MT 59901; nwmthistory.org

The monster wants a Mrs.

For the most part, film fans often find themselves a bit disappointed with the sequel to a popular movie, but that wasn’t the case with 1935’s The Bride of Frankenstein. The film screens 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Northwest Montana History Museum.

This classic sequel to 1931’s Frankenstein features many cast members from the first film, including Boris Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein. The movie also features Elsa Lanchester playing both Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and the bride. Other cast members include Ernest Thesiger and O.P. Heggie.

In this sequel, Dr. Frankenstein’s efforts to abandon his attempt to create life are thwarted by threats from the monster who wants a bride. The doctor is eventually blackmailed by his former mentor, Dr. Pretorius (Thesiger), into constructing a mate for the monster. 

The film opened to critical and popular acclaim and its reputation has only grown over the years. In fact, some fans and critics consider it to be not only a great sequel, but better than the original film. In 1998, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry having been deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Doors open 6:30 p.m. and admission and popcorn are free. Soda pop, water, beer, and wine are available for purchase. Seating is provided, but viewers are welcome to bring their own cushions or seating.

The Northwest Montana History Museum brings the past alive through exhibits, artifacts, educational programs, and events. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 124 Second Ave. East, Kalispell. For information call 406-756-8381.

Play’s the thing at the new 10 Items exhibit, opening Oct. 19

Snowshoes are a shoo-in for our next 10 Items exhibit focused on Recreation. Above, North Fork kids circa 1931 show off their favored mode of winter transport in an image from the Northwest Montana History Museum’s collection.

The 10 Items exhibits run in one of the museum’s two temporary galleries and showcase items from the collection that fit a theme. The recreation-focused exhibit follows on The Way We Wore, 10 uniforms worn by Flathead Valley residents as they went about work, school, and fun.

Find out nine other ways Flathead Valley residents enjoyed themselves when the exhibit opens 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at your history museum, 124 Second Ave. E., Kalispell. Admission is free, and refreshments provided! See you then and there.

Movie Night at the Museum’s gonna rawk

What happens when a heavy metal band takes to the road? How does the trip affect the lives of the band members, their crew, and the fans? All is revealed when This Is Spinal Tap screens as the September feature for Movie Night at the Museum. The film marked the directorial debut of actor Rob Reiner, who was, at that time, known mainly for his role as Archie Bunker’s son-in-law on television’s All in the Family. The film will show 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26.

The “mockumentary” stars Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer as members of Spinal Tap. The band is followed on their American tour by documentary producer Martin “Marty” DiBergi, played by Reiner. While the film was popular with the critics, it met with only modest commercial success. Over the years, however, it has developed a cult following and in 2002 it was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry for basically launching the mockumentary genre. 

Doors open 6:30 p.m. Admission and popcorn are free, but donations are gladly accepted to defray costs. Soda pop, water, beer, and wine are available for purchase. Seating is provided, but viewers are welcome to bring their own cushions or seating.

The Northwest Montana History Museum brings the past alive through exhibits, artifacts, educational programs, and events. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 124 Second Avenue East, Kalispell. For more call 406-756-8381.

Still a few spots left to put history into hands-on practice

For the second time this year, the Northwest Montana History Museum offers a bookbinding course that covers book history, bookbinding processes and tools, and hands-on learning.

Over eight sessions, students will review the history of the book and related arts, then learn how to construct at least five binding formats.

Margaret E. Davis, executive director of the museum and a longtime bookbinder who studied in China and has taught, lectured, and written about the subject, will teach the course.

No previous bookbinding experience is required, but students should have manual dexterity, ability to follow multiple steps, and interest in developing hand skills. Basic tools and materials are provided.

Details:
6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 6 to Oct. 25, 2023
Northwest Montana History Museum, 124 2nd Ave. E., Kalispell, MT 59901; 406-756-8381; nwmthistory.org

Course fee: $150, $140 for museum members; contact Margaret Davis to enroll at 406-756-8381 option 6, or email director@nwmthistory.org. Space is limited; registration with payment in advance is required.

This project is funded in part by the Montana Arts Council, an agency of the State Government, and the National Endowment for the Arts.