Montana Historical Society

     The magnificence of the Montana landscape has inspired legendary artists like Charles M. Russell and E.S Paxson and countless others down to today.
     In Montana we cherish their vision and proudly show it off in our wonderful museums and art galleries statewide.

The Montana Historical Society was established in 1865 by one of the first acts of the Montana Territorial Legislature. We are the oldest such institution west of the Mississippi, and the people who have lived here have always known that we have history worth celebrating.
     Regardless of what brings you to Montana, your picking up this publication shows that you have an appreciation for art and history. In addition to MHS Montana’s Museum located just east of the State Capitol in Helena, there are more than 200 other local museums across the state. We have more museums and galleries per capita than most other states.
     I urge you to attend those you pass along your way. You will meet some interesting people and learn some new things about those who have called Montana home over the years.
     At the Montana Historical Society we have one of the best collections of Russell art in the world including many of his masterpieces like “When the Land Belonged to God,” “Bronc to Breakfast,” and “Laugh Kills Lonesome.” Just across the street in the State capitol is Russell’s acclaimed mural “Lewis and Clark Meeting the Indians at Ross’ Hole.” Our exhibits include paintings and sculptures from other famous artists. If you love art, you will love your visit to the Montana Historical Society.
     We are much more than an art and history museum, though. You can also take advantage of our Research Center that has been praised and used by people like film maker Ken Burns and authors like Ivan Doig – as well as by people who just want to learn more about Montana or do some family history research. We also are home to the State Historic Preservation Office, the Montana Historical Society Press that produces the award-winning “Montana The Magazine of Western History,” and the Outreach and Interpretation program. Our staff enjoys talking with travelers and helping them find their way to the other special places in Montana. Visit our website at or call us at 1-800-243-9900 to learn more.
     So enjoy Montana and visit our museums and galleries. We have history worth celebrating. Come celebrate with us.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Bruce Whittenberg
      Director Montana Historical Society