The Montana Collection is the Yellowstone Art Museum’s core collection, including 1,200 works of art inspired by the realities of today’s West. The collection emphasizes artists who have lived, work, or been inspired by time spent in Montana. It includes prints, drawings, ceramics, paintings, photographs, mixed media, and sculpture. Beginning in the 1980s, YAM deliberately focused on collecting Montana artists who were at the vanguard of their time, working in a Modernist and post-Modernist vein. The collection has continued to evolve, as new generations of artists create work in and about Montana.
Artists represented in the Montana Collection include: Rudy Autio; John Buck; Deborah Butterfield; Freeman Butts; Russell Chatham; Robert, Gennie, and Josh DeWeese; Edith Freeman, Isabelle Johnson; Richard Notkin, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith; Bill Stockton; Peter Voulkos; Theodore Waddell; Jessie Wilber; and Patrick Zentz. An important sub-collection, the work of early Montana Modernist Isabelle Johnson, numbers 826 paintings and works on paper.
The YAM serves as a primary repository for a few select artists. By accepting these large collections, the Museum commits to preserving and sharing these artists’ work, legacy, and stories.