From the Governor

You don’t have to visit many Montana art galleries or museums to realize that there is something truly inspiring going on here.  Maybe it has something to do with the colors of a big sky sunset or the light reflecting off a half-frozen stream, or the ideas that have time to grow over the long winter nights.  

Montana Arts Council

Creativity — the source of inspiration that gives meaning to our lives through words, music, art and design.

The Montana Arts Council celebrates and promotes the arts and artists in Montana, some of the most creative citizenry in the world.

Montana Historical Society

Montana’s story is shaped by the beauty and wonder of its mountains, prairies, rugged landscapes, natural resources and clear waters.

The interaction between nature and the people who have called this place home completes that story and provides a vision of the past as well as the future.

We invite you to find those stories and seek your own vision of what we call “The Last Best Place” by visiting the Montana Historical Society next to the State Capitol in Helena.

Our exhibits are world-class. From the artwork of Charles M. Russell that memorializes Native Americans, free trappers and cowboys, to the land that Lewis and Clark passed through when Native Americans called it home, to the miners, foresters, homesteaders and community builders that came after, Montana’s Museum is a feast for the eyes and the intellect.

If you are travelling to Montana for vacation or work, we also have a brand new free mobile app that allows us to accompany you on your travels and share the stories of Montana. The MHS ExploreBig app is available on Google Play and Apple App Store for both Android and IOS devices. If you want to learn more at home, it is also on the web at explorebig.org.

Let us ride along with you as you travel Montana.

Our friendly staff at the Montana Historical Society will answer your questions, help you plan stops along your route, and guide you to Montana museums and galleries that fit your interests and schedule.

We also want to thank Lee Newspapers of Montana for their support in working with all of us to get this great publication put together and in your hands. Celebrate Montana history and “Cultural Treasures” with us.

Bruce Whittenberg
Director Montana Historical Society

Montana's Literary Treasures

Welcome to Montana!

We hope you’ll explore the beautiful and sometimes harsh land whose presence is so profound in Montana’s great literature through the eyes of some of our best authors.

Visit the sites that are the settings of famous books, and read the passages that describe this stunning landscape, these storied towns, and Montana lives on our interactive Montana Authors Project map at humanitiesmontana.org.

We hold conversations and presentations across Montana that invite audiences to engage deeply with history, literature, the knowledge of a scholar, a meaningful event or an innovative exhibit, always free and open to the public. We invite you to join us for a thought-provoking Montana conversation. Or perhaps you’ll find a living history presentation that can transport you to the time of early homesteaders, an evening with Teddy Roosevelt, or the life of Calamity Jane. Maybe you’d like to attend an event that teaches how to navigate today’s politicized and saturated media, or you could drop by a history of social dance and try your hand – or feet – at an old-time barn dance. Wherever you are, we hope you discover a new side of Montana through one of our Humanities Montana-sponsored programs.

2017 brings the launch of our newest catalog, Our Current State, which offers compelling discussions of contemporary issues, from the many facets of Islam and the experience of being Muslim in Montana to the place of wildness in Montanans’ lives. Learn from scholars, historians, educators, and artists about the ripple effects of history and policy on reservations, the presence and meaning of our changing and resilient land, the misconceptions and conceptions we hold about Montana and its people, the loss and preservation of Native American languages, and more. Check our calendar to find free events near you.

Humanities Montana is the state’s independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1972, Humanities Montana has provided services and grants to hundreds of Montana organizations in support of public programs in history, literature, civil conversations, and public issues.

For more information, to find an event, or to use our MAP, visit humanitiesmontana.org.