Being a history-oriented institution by nature, we find it fun to sometimes cast an eye back over our own past too. For the curious, our current exhibits are here, but below are a few of the special exhibits we've presented, in addition to our regular museum displays, in recent past years.
Summer 2018: Pure Quill: The Photographs of Barbara Van Cleve Van Cleve grew up on her family's ranch, the Lazy K Bar, near Big Timber, Montana. Her images, from silver gelatin to digital, span years with a continuity capturing the unique spirit of the American West, in bold compositions and captivating textures. "Pure Quill" in the language of the West means authentic, real through and through, an idea that came through clearly in a wide range of iconic images. The exhibit was produced by the Sweet Grass Arts Alliance in coordination with the Montana Art Gallery Directors Association (MAGDA).
Summer 2017: A Railroad Runs Through It Honoring the Depot Museum's 30th anniversary, A Railroad Runs Through It assembled a retrospective of works past and present by previous artists alongside other recent talent, asking them for expressions of what that simple idea meant to each of them. Featured artists included Jim Barrett, Marc Beaudin, Storrs Bishop, Eleanor Williams Clark, Edd Enders, Malou Flato, Doris Davis Gallagher, Sheila Hrasky, Bob Newhall, Parks Reece, Tandy Miles Riddle, Pamela Schiffer, Robert Spannring, Colleen Story, Mark Strand, David Swanson, Joe Wayne, and John Zumpano, and Angela Gill presenting works by Wellington Brouse, alongside iconic images by historian Warren McGee, provided a bold blend of historic and contemporary.
Summer 2016: The Railroads of Ron Nixon (On loan from the Museum of the Rockies) Nixon grew up an early 1900s family of telegraphers across different Montana locations. His mother, a photographer herself, lent him a camera as a child, and the fascination began. He started work as a telegrapher at 14 and worked with the railroads for a half century, but his photos on the side rapidly met with rave reviews and would be published regularly throughout his life in newspapers, calendars, and rail company posters and ads. He died in 1989 with 30,000 images to his credit. Shortly after his collection was purchased by the Museum of the Rockies and select images were compiled for a traveling exhibit by MoR Curator of Art and Photography Steve Jackson, who presented a guest lecture at the Depot. “Getting There: From Livingston to Yellowstone” Presented as a small extra in honor of the 2016 National Park Service centennial, Getting There examined Livingston's role as the original departure point for the park starting with its earliest years forward and how it shaped both the Park experience and the lives of those in the NP's early gateway city.
Summer 2015: "TRAIN IN ART": Train + Depot = Light, Energy, Motion “TRAIN IN ART,” a contemporary view of the Western rails, made its debut fittingly at the Depot in 2015. This collaboration by Livingston Artists Sheila Hrasky and Tandy Miles Riddle represented the Depot’s first train art show by female artists. The two plein-air painters have painted at the Depot for years, Tandy initially focusing more on the ornate historic architecture, where Sheila tends to favor the train activity itself. Both were inspired and influenced by the interplay of movement, light, color, and shadow with the Depot and adjacent rail activity. They also presented adult and children's art classes in connection with the exhibit. TRAIN IN ART has traveled and is available for museums under the auspices of MAGDA.
Summer 2014: The Railroad Photographs of Warren McGee Warren McGee, a Livingston resident, tireless railroad photographer, and Depot enthusiast, shot in the neighborhood of 40,000 railroad photographs during the course of his century-plus lifetime. While the Depot has traditionally included McGee works, his larger collection of images was curated by the Montana Historical Society into a special travelling exhibit, and this collection is also available for traveling display.
Summer 2013: Livingston Found Livingston photographer Angela Gill made a spectacular discovery of historic railroad and area images on glass plate negatives by photographer Wellington Brouse that narrowly missed the dump. These exceptionally high-resolution photos are also available in large-format framed print for traveling display.
Summer 2012: Edd Enders: Trains of Livingston Enders' distinctive, almost playful style, looks with color past the literal into the ideas and feeling behind the everyday aspect of railroads while still capturing details it's frequently easy to miss or not think about. Edd's work is for sale as it becomes available locally.
Summer 2011: Six Shooters of the American West This exhibit looked at the work of six shooters, or photographers, of the West: Allen Russell (who curated), Jim Bechtel, Will Brewster, Thomas Lee, Barbara Van Cleve, and Diana Volk, through a wide range of classic iconic subjects from rodeos to horses to Native life.
Summer 2010: Sweat and Steel Livingston artist David Swanson displayed a teaser of paintings from his Sweat and Steel collection, which opened here and then traveled to other Montana museums. Sweat and Steel employed a modern realism with an appreciation for the people and human effort involved in everyday to help communicate the railroads' cultural significance. David's work is also available for exploration or sale on his website.
Summer 2009: On The Road Again Produced by the Museum of the Rockies and based on a photo book by William Wyckoff, the exhibit featured 58 pairs of Montana photographs taken along the Treasure State's highways and byways, first by state highway engineers between 1920 and 1945, and again between 2001 and 2004, documenting the surprising evolution of landscapes across time and what it might portend for the next 80 years ahead.
More information on the numerous other past special exhibits the Depot has hosted may be available by reaching us directly. We hope you enjoy the variety of perspective we seek to bring to lend extra dimension and enrich our historical presentations.
200 West Park St. PO Box 1319 Livingston, MT 59047 (406) 222-2300 LivingstonDepot@gmail.com