C.M. Russell Museum
400 N 13th Street
Great Falls, Montana 59401
Named for cowboy artist Charles Marion Russell, Great Falls’ C.M. Russell Museum primarily displays his artwork as well as pieces by other significant Western artists. As the country’s first museum of Western art, it opened in 1930 as the Russell Memorial. It has grown to encompass an entire city block, which includes Russell’s original house and log-built studio, the Frederic G. and Ginger K. Renner Research Center, Candace and Jim Fish Sr. Discovery Gallery, and Charlie Russell Riders Outdoor Sculpture Garden.
The museum’s collection consists of 13,080 objects: 3,184 examples of fine art; 2,659 archival documents; 2,634 photographs, 1,818 books and periodicals; 1,104 studio props; 767 objects associated with Russell’s home; 601 ethnographic items; 159 firearms; and 154 pieces of memorabilia. Of those, works by Russell number 402 drawings, 243 sculptures, 156 letters, 121 watercolors, and 52 oil paintings. Additional artists represented are Olaf C. Seltzer, Winold Reiss, Joseph H. Sharp, Maynard Dixon, and Henry Farny, among others. A store offers a variety of reproductions, books, clothing, and souvenirs.
Moss Mansion Museum
914 Division Street
Billings, Montana 59101
Built in 1903, Moss Mansion in Billings was the home of entrepreneur Preston Boyd Moss and his family. Designed by New York architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, the three-story 28-room mansion is made of red sandstone from Lake Superior. The original upscale interior features wood paneling, walls with gold threading, marble fireplaces, columns, and a vintage intercom system as well as the original carpets, drapes, furniture, and fixtures. Self-guided tours are available as well as guided tours by appointment. A gift shop offers a variety of books, jewelry, clothing, toys, and souvenirs.
Museum of the Rockies
600 W Kagy Boulevard
Bozeman, Montana 59717
Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman preserves the natural and cultural history of Montana and the Northern Rocky Mountains. It is recognized for having one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur fossils, including the largest collection of Tyrannosaurus rex fossils. Other skeletons on display include a Triceratops and Deinonychus, which is like a Velociraptor. All the museum’s dinosaur fossils were found in rocks from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods in Montana and surrounding regions. The history hall exhibit tells the stories of the area’s Native Americans, fur traders, gold seekers, and white settlers through historical artifacts such as weapons, photographs, vehicles, and textiles. Visitors can take a break from their walking tour when they catch a 30-minute show on the planetarium’s 40-foot-tall (12-meter-tall) dome. A store offers a variety of books, toys, games, jewelry, pottery, apparel, and souvenirs.
World Museum of Mining
155 Museum Way
Butte, Montana 59701
A museum preserving America’s mining history from the 1860s to 1970s, World Museum of Mining opened in Butte in 1965. On display outside in the Orphan Girl Mine Yard are more than 50 exhibits, including a 100-foot-tall (30.5-meters-tall) headframe that visitors can walk into for views of ore bins and a Lorry railcar. Guests are invited to climb inside one of the cages used to transport miners down the 2,700-foot-long (823-meter-long) shaft. Also outside, the hoist house displays more equipment. In addition, thousands of artifacts can be seen throughout a recreated 1890s mining town. It is made up of 15 intact historic structures, including two churches, a schoolhouse, and superintendent’s house, as well as around 35 other buildings. During the warmer months, the museum offers an underground mine tour. Visitors journey 100 feet (30.5 meters) beneath the surface to see the original shaft station and the Orphan Girl vein. A gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs.
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