Montana's Museum, also known as the Montana Historical Society Museum, is an establishment dedicated to telling and preserving the story of the people of Montana through the collection and preservation of fine art, as well as the education of the public through artifacts that have relevant historical or social significance. The museum is located near the state capital of Helena and is a very popular attraction for both tourists and culture-loving locals alike.
Montana's Museum categorizes and showcases its extensive collection of valuable artifacts in a variety of different types of exhibits, many of which are long-term exhibits on display either indefinitely or for extended periods of time. These exhibits cover such themes as "Montana in the Time of Lewis and Clark'', a look at various well-known regions of the state that were involved in the expeditions and accomplishments of the famous pair; "Montana Homeland'', an exhibit dedicated to a look at Montanans of the past as well as their lifestyles, habits, and culture; and "Big Medicine'', a look at one of the rare white buffalo so important in Montana Native American culture.
Montana's Museum also boasts around 80 pieces of fine art by celebrated Montana artist C.M. Russell. The art covers a wide range of artistic media including ink work, oil paintings, pencil sketches, bronze work, sculpture, and illustrated letters. The exhibit also offers patrons a closer educational look at the various themes covered in Russell's incredible body of work, giving them a chance to get to know and understand this popular and accomplished artist's work on an even more in-depth level.
The museum also showcases a variety of temporary or special exhibits as well, featuring work on loan from individuals or other facilities. These exhibits feature such relevant themes as spotlights on Native American art and closer looks at the quilting heritage of Montana women of the past and present. Some exhibits are even taken on the road as traveling exhibits as well. Past themes for traveling exhibits have included a look at Montana through the history of its food and artistic historical photography showcases dealing with a number of different Montana-related themes.
Visitors to the museum are further invited to browse its large and comprehensive souvenir and gift shop as well. Items available include educational DVDs, books, prints, cards, and beautiful items featuring the art of C.M. Russell.
In addition to the maintenance and collection of its various pieces of fine art and historical memorabilia, Montana's Museum is also responsible for administering a well-respected volunteer program. Locals who choose to volunteer their time to the betterment of the museum do so by leading museum tours, conducting research, transcribing valuable spoken histories, providing assistance in regards to many of the exhibits themselves, and much more.
The museum's Educational Outreach Office offers guided tours, workshops, classes, interactive activities, and school services for the enrichment of the community at large. The museum's staff is also responsible for coordinating two important local annual events - the Montana History Conference and the Western Rendezvous of Art.