About

Our mission statementalliance_emblem_CircleWhiteBGD

The Yellowstone Art Museum exhibits, interprets, collects, and preserves art, with an emphasis on Montana and surrounding regions, for the enrichment, education, inspiration, and enjoyment of all. 

Our vision statement

Be an extraordinary cultural destination for creative exchange.

Our core values

We value ART. We value imagination and the passionate education of enthusiastic and curious minds of all ages. We value a diverse community that cherishes its memories and aspires to an exceptional future. We value a place to live that is enhanced through engaging art of uncompromising quality.

 

history

1964

The former Yellowstone Art Center opened in October in a building that once housed the historic Yellowstone County Jail. In the earliest years, there were just three staff and an operating budget around $70,000.

1982

Under the leadership of Director Donna Forbes, the Yellowstone Art Center achieved accreditation from the American Association of Museums.

1995

The YAC received the Governor’s Award for Service to the Arts, leading to recognition of its statewide importance and the successful completion of a $6.2-million expansion campaign.

1998

The new, state-of-the-art Yellowstone Art Museum opened to the public.

2000

Monet came to Montana, along with other international artists, through a landmark exhibition of masterpieces on loan from the private collection of billionaire William I. Koch.

2002

The YAM mounted the exhibition The Most Difficult Journey: The Poindexter Collections of Modernist Paintings. This exhibition, drawn substantially from the permanent collection, and from the holdings of the Montana Historical Society in Helena, traveled nationally. The year finished with an exhibition of Ansel Adams’s photographs, which was one of the best attended of exhibitions in the Museum’s history.

2003

The YAM began a four-year series commemorating the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. A retrospective exhibition of works by preeminent Montana-based sculptor Deborah Butterfield traveled nationwide. Educational programming was honored with a three-year grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to expand educational outreach.

2004

The Yellowstone Art Museum celebrated its 40th year of bringing historic and regional contemporary art to the people of Montana and tourists from across the country and around the world.

2005

Former Senior Curator Gordon McConnell and former Executive Director Terry Melton were honored with solo exhibitions.

2006

The YAM launched a matching gift campaign to secure a generous $2.15 million grant from the Charles M. Bair Family Trust, exceeding the goal before the 2007 deadline. By the end of the year, a well-developed capital and endowment campaign were under way to sustainably expand the YAM and its programs.

2007

The YAM received a second three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to enhance and continue its stellar art education outreach program.

2009

The YAM was the Montana recipient of a generous gift of 50 Minimalist and Conceptualist works of art from the private collections of Herb and Dorothy Vogel. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, administered a program that distributed 50 works to each of the 50 states from the Vogels’ unprecedented collection.

 

2010

In August, the YAM opened its innovative Visible Vault, a space where we store our permanent collections in a publicly accessible way. The Visible Vault also includes an artist-in-residence studio. The YAM was awarded a $600,000 grant from the Michigan-based Kresge Foundation to complete this project as well as assist with a new permanent collection gallery.

2011

The YAM was again awarded a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for its education outreach program. In June, we completed the $6-million Phase I of our Expansion Campaign, capping a five-year effort, and received record-breaking visitor attendance of Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs, which opened in August 2011.

2012

We experienced a landmark year with the unveiling of the Bair Gallery–a tremendous achievement–as well as our well-received permanent collection exhibition, Boundless Visions, which opened in August.  Due to the generosity of our donors, the museum’s endowment–the current phase of our campaign–is growing.  We hope to leave a lasting legacy that our citizens and future generations will be proud of, with an additional $2 million endowment goal by the end of our 50th anniversary in 2014.

201450th Banners Front Building View

The YAM celebrated its 50th anniversary with many amplified activities.  Face to Face, Wall to Wall was one of several extraordinary and memorable exhibitions.  The Art of the Brick® broke all previous attendance records.  The YAM published a commemorative book, and hosted many extra special events, including a sold-out gala.

2016

Accrediation at AA48 photo by Q2

The YAM has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public.

Of the nation’s estimated 35,000 museums, only about 1,000 (fewer than 3%) are currently accredited. The YAM is one of seven museums accredited in Montana.