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Artifact Spotlight #1

When I started this project, there were so many amazing artifacts to choose from that it was both inspiring and overwhelming. This Museum really does house some incredible artifacts with beautiful and insightful stories. So for the next couple of weeks until the big auction date I would like to talk about just a few of these artifacts, why I chose them for specific paintings and why they are so important to telling the history of the area. Be sure to drop by the Museum to see the paintings and put in your silent auction bids!

#15 (live auction) “At their hotel in Cooke [Mrs. Jack Allen] had one room containing many interesting articles—one being a dress from England 100 years old.” – Big Timber Pioneer, April 21, 1938

Oil on canvas


All of these artifacts are presented in the Women's exhibit of the Museum. Our model wears the hat and pearls, the shoes hang in a row on the wall and the mirror sets in the cupboard. All of these artifacts work to tell the story of a woman, one who would put on her best to attend the fish fry, one who kept clothes in a large trunk that had traveled all of the distances her life had taken. The fabric I chose for this work is ornate and an intense shade of deep red. The contrast of the black and white attire and the fabric is meant to show the contrast of life in a mountain home and the woman at home in the wilderness.

#3 (silent auction) “A new town called ‘Jay Cooke City’ has been started in the Clark’s Fork district.” – The New Northwest, January 6, 1882

Oil on canvas


This claim for the "El Dorado" mine dates back to 1931. Miners would place claims in a tobacco can and nail that to the mine location. Mining claims were incredibly important documents that detailed the boundaries of the location to the tiniest detail.

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