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Our Favorite Montana Museums

Our Favorite Montana Museums
Let these outstanding Montana Museums help make your Montana vacation great!

(Great Falls)
C.M. Russell Museum                                                                                                           406-727-8787

The C.M. Russell Museum is without question one of America's finest museums of American Western Art, and is home of the most complete collection of Charles M. Russell art and memorabilia in the world.  The C.M. Russell Museum is the permanent home to hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculptures and illustrations the "Cowboy Artist" Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926) created from his childhood to his final days. These national treasures are displayed in five galleries, and the subjects include his own personal experience, Western history, Northern Plains Indian life, western wildlife and reflecting themes of cowboy life. As you walk through these galleries, you will learn about Charles Russell's life history through his art.  From a teenager seeing Montana for the first time, to a cowboy working for cattle ranches, and then as a professional artist who created world-renowned masterpieces such as The Jerkline, The Fireboat and The Exalted Ruler.  As you gaze at these wonderful works of art, you will truly get to know Charlie Russell, the beloved icon of the American West. More than 12,000 objects are included in this permanent collection, which also include works by well-known artists such as Winold Reiss, E.E. Heikka, O.C. Seltzer, Olaf Wieghorst, Frank Tenney Johnson, J.H. Sharp, E.I. Couse and Henry Farny.  In addition to the Charles M. Russell Collection, the C.M. Russell Museum is also home to the Browning Firearms Collection, Heart of Plains Indian Culture and The Bison: American Icon permanent displays. The C.M. Russell Museum opened its doors in 1953, and is now approximately 70,000 square feet in size and occupies a full city block. This amazing complex includes Charles Russell's home and original log studio, which are designated as National Historic Landmarks. The C.M. Russell Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is one of the premier attractions in Montana.  For more information, please click the link below.  406-727-8787

Daly Mansion                                                                                                                       406-363-6004

In the heart of the Bitterroot Valley at Hamilton, Montana, rests the historic Daly Mansion.  Once the family summer home of the great 19th Century American industrialist Marcus Daly, who was known as one of the legendary "Copper Kings" of the world-famous late 1800's Butte Mining District, aptly named "The Richest Hill On Earth", Marcus Daly rose from a working class immigrant to an incredibly wealthy copper magnate and chose the Bitter Root Valley to locate his 22,000 acre farm and thoroughbred horse racing facilities. A remarkable Georgian-Revival style three story home, that now rests on 46.6  plush acres of historic grounds, contains 24,000 square foot (not counting the full basement) that evolved from the original farm house on the property.  It has over 50 rooms, with 25 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, 7 fireplaces, 5 of which have mantles and surrounds of Italian marble. This amazing treasure of history and intrigue has a small staff and a team of over 100 volunteers who are completely dedicated to preserving the home and grounds so its visitors can truly enjoy their experience at the Daly Mansion. The expansive home is among the Distinctive Destinations of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which is a very prestigious honor. During the Summer Season, Mothers Day until the 2nd weekend in October, tours of the home are offered every day of the week, even holidays, on the hour starting at 10 am with the last tour of the day beginning at 3 pm. Off-season tours can be arranged by calling 406-363-6004, M-F 9-5 pm. The grounds are open during the summer season from 9 am to 5 pm. The Daly Mansion grounds and a large tent are available to rent for family reunions, weddings, special events and birthday parties during the in-season.  The Trophy Room inside the Daly Mansion is available to rent all year round, and some the first floor rooms can be rented during the off-season as well.  So if you're fascinated by history, and love to explore magnificent historic homes, then during your Montana vacation come visit the glorious home of a king... a Copper King!   406-363-6004

Mineral Museum                                                                                                                406-496-4414

The Mineral Museum, located on the Montana Tech campus, overlooks the 150-year-old Butte Mining District, better known as the Richest Hill on Earth. Classic mineral specimens from Butte’s underground mines, which include over 10,000 miles of mine workings that reach over a mile deep, illustrate the area’s tremendous mineral wealth.  The Museum exhibits educational displays and spectacular minerals from Montana and around the world. Prize specimens in our Montana collection include the Rheanna Star, an incredible smoky quartz cluster over 2 feet in diameter that was discovered near Butte in 2006. The Museum also houses a 27.5-ounce gold nugget recovered from a placer mining operation in the mountains south of Butte in 1989. Brilliant blue sapphires from Yogo Gulch and beautiful polished agates, Montana’s state stones, are displayed along with copper, zinc, and molybdenum minerals and talc, all examples of the industrial minerals that have figured so strongly in Montana’s economic history.  Azurite and malachite from Bisbee, Arizona, remarkable amethyst geodes from Brazil, and adamite from Mexico are just a few of the minerals from worldwide localities. The Fluorescent Room, where ordinary-looking minerals radiate extraordinary vibrant shades of pink, orange, and blue when exposed to ultraviolet light, is always a family favorite.  If you want to know what’s shakin’, the Museum has an interactive display about earthquakes. Video displays show real-time earthquake epicenters around the world as they happen as well as real-time seismic traces from a recorder near Butte.  The Mineral Museum is truly one of Montana's treasures, and is unquestionably one of the top attractions on the Richest Hill on Earth.  Your visit to this world-class museum will definitely be among the highlights of your trip! 406-496-4414

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