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The Hockaday Museum of Art  

The Hockaday Museum of Art


Photo of Founding Members of the Hockaday

Museum Overview
The Hockaday Museum of Art's mission is to enrich the cultural life of our community and region, and preserve the artistic legacy of Montana and Glacier National Park. The Museum maintains a permanent collection and offers rotating exhibits by nationally renowned and emerging artists, in addition to a permanent exhibit of Glacier National Park art and culture. A Discovery Gallery provides hands-on activities for children that changes along with the rotating exhibits.

Museum History
In 1967, the Flathead Branch of the Montana Institute of the Arts explored the need for a community art center in the Flathead Valley. Area residents responded enthusiastically, and on February 10, 1969, the Flathead Valley Art Association opened the Hockaday Center for the Arts as a community art center in the Carnegie Library building.  

The founders of the art center were Ed Bailey, Corinne Lundgren, Anne McLeod, Greta Sliter, and Janet and William Bierrum. Original board members included Gary Christensen, Wallace Roberts, Lillian Tubb, and Neil Hunter.  

The art center was named for Lakeside artist Hugh Hockaday (1892-1968), who had moved to the Flathead Valley after a successful career as a commercial artist, and who passed away during the conversion of the Carnegie library to an art center. In 1998, the Hockaday Center changed its name to the Hockaday Museum of Art to reflect its new focus as a museum.

Historic Carnegie Library Building, Kalispell, Montana

Building History
The Hockaday Museum is housed in a turn-of-the-century Carnegie Library Building that is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The more than 100-year-old building, now wheelchair accessible, has undergone significant renovations to create a sophisticated museum setting while retaining the building's historic beauty.

Leonard Lopp Painting

Permanent Collection
The Museum’s growing permanent collection focuses on the art and artists of Montana. Featured in the permanent collection are works by Leonard Lopp, Bud Helbig, Ace Powell, O.C. Seltzer, Russell Chatham, Jeanne Hamilton, Hugh Hockaday, David Shaner, Thomas English, Bob Scriver, Gary Schildt, Tom Saubert, Frank Hagel, Mark Ogle, Jeff Walker, and others.

OC Seltzer Painting

The Crown of the Continent
This permanent exhibition captures the nostalgia and grandeur of Glacier National Park that today still attracts so many artists seeking to portray its greatness. It features works by significant Glacier Park authors, photographers, and painters as well as Park collectibles, including vintage maps and hand-tinted photographs. While artists change from time to time, the exhibit always features the art and culture of Glacier National Park.
The current installation exhibits works from the Museum’s permanent collection as well as some long-term loans. Artists include Leonard Lopp, O.C. Seltzer, Winold Reiss, Ralph Earl DeCamp, Joe Scheurle, Fred Kiser, T.J. Hileman, Roland Reed, John Clarke, Thomas English, Joe Abbrescia, along with James Willard Schultz, George Bird Grinnell, Mary Roberts Rinehart and many others.

 Children at the Hockaday

The Museum offers a variety of art classes and workshops for children and adults, taught by the Museum’s Director of Education as well as special guest instructors. The Museum also offers special education programs, lectures and demonstrations related to the exhibits.

Image from Jim Clayborn's AWC Journal 

Artist Residency Programs
In 2003, the Bob Marshall Foundation, Flathead National Forest, Hockaday Museum of Art and Swan Ecosystem Center joined forces to create the Artist-Wilderness-Connection project, an annual artist-in-residence program that connects artists with the Flathead National Forest, the Hockaday Museum of Art and area communities. The program consists of an artist residency, forest experience, and community extension. The artist-in-residence program benefits the artists, offering a remote setting to focus on their art, and benefits the public through the presentations the artists offer.

 Karen Leigh and friend at Arts in the Park

Arts in the Park
Arts in the Park, in its 50th year in 2020, is the largest art and music festival in Northwest Montana. With over 100 fine artists and craftsmen, wonderful foods, and great entertainment, this juried art show is a benefit for the Museum and a favorite for browsing and buying jewelry, photography, paintings, and pottery. This festival is held the fourth weekend in July each year in Kalispell’s Depot Park.

Painting by Nicholas Oberling

Benefit Auction of Miniatures
This invitational exhibit culminates in a silent auction of miniatures (works 9 x 12 or smaller) in a variety of mediums by some of the finest artists from Montana and the West to benefit the Hockaday Museum. Each year, the Museum asks patrons to vote for the People's Choice Award, which is purchased by the Museum for its permanent collection. People's Choice Award winning artists include Karen Leigh, R.E. Pierce, Frank Hagel, Joe Abbrescia, Mark Ogle, and Jeff Walker.


Off the Wall Gift Gallery
The Museum’s Off the Wall Gift Gallery features unique pottery, jewelry, cards, and artwork created by the diverse and talented artists of the Flathead Valley. It also offers a wide selection of books on the art, history, and culture of Montana, as well as exhibition posters, catalogs, cards, t-shirts, and more. The Museum also has an online gift gallery. All proceeds benefit the Museum’s exhibit and education programs.


Special Admission Days
On the second Thursday of each month, the Museum offers free admission and refreshments for seniors.  Business Membership Days give all employees of Business Members free admission on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.


The Hockaday Museum is open year-round, Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Closures are announced and indicated on our online Calendar.


Admission to the Museum is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for college students, free for children K-12, and free for Museum members.



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