The Montana Historical Society’s newest exhibit, Who Speaks to You? Portraits from the Permanent Collection, includes an eclectic mix of paintings, juxtaposed to encourage visitors to look at portraits in a new way.
Portraits can reveal a lot about people and their times, if you know how to look for clues, notes Amanda Streeter Trum, curator of collections at MHS. Examining objects in the artwork, considering the backdrop, and observing the artist’s color palette reveal important information about the subject of the art.
“Experiencing art is a really personal thing; we all bring our unique experiences and opinions that color the way we may or may not interact with the piece in front of us,” Streeter Trum said. “We hope the exhibit will provide visitors an opportunity to see portraits in a different way or discover a new artistic style they enjoy.”
The exhibit opened Sept. 10, and no opening reception was held due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
It includes about 50 portraits of interesting people and pets whose presence has enriched the lives they touched and, in some cases, the larger state of Montana. The artwork is both traditional as well as abstract, Streeter Trum said.
“So many traditional portraits represent only a certain segment of society, often wealthy white men,” she added. “This is a playful exhibit and we want to show an eclectic mix of people and art.”
The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, contact Eve Byron, MHS Public Information Officer, at 406/444-6843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.