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Glacier National Park Mural Restoration Project

01 Jan 2021 - 01 Jan 2051

Two of the first four fully restored murals are
on permanent display at the Hockaday Museum of Art

The third mural is on view at the University of Montana’s Law School in Missoula, MT.

The fifth and sixth fully restored murals
on loan to the O’Shaughnessy Center of Whitefish, MT.

The seventh fully restored mural is 
on loan to the Lake County Courthouse of Polson, MT.

Early visitors to Glacier Park Lodge were treated to architectural and visual grandeur inside the building that was almost as expansive as the surrounding landscape. Louis Hill, President of the Great Northern Railway, favored eclectic Victorian and Western themes and filled the Lodge with paintings, photographs, and artifacts. The murals were commissioned to fill the long horizontal spaces above the wainscoting.

The murals appear to be created from photographs and were painted using casein on canvas stretched on panel. Casein paint, derived from milk casein (milk protein), is a fast-drying, water-soluble medium used by artists. The scenic panels covered hundreds of square feet and appeared in a 1939 Glacier Park Lodge inventory as “51 watercolor panels”. There is some evidence that John Fery, the most famous of the Glacier National Park artists, intended to paint these panels as he had drawn up some preliminary sketches. Instead, Hill decided to hire a muralist to expedite the process.

It is apparent there was a second mystery artist whose work decorated the lobbies and public areas of Glacier Park Lodge. The paintings are not signed and unfortunately, there is no history or record of who the artist was. There are numbers and locations on the backs of the panels identifying where they were hung in Glacier Park Lodge.

All of the Glacier National Park Lodges were remodeled in the 1950’s. The new design required the removal of the murals except where a select few were left to provide “needed color accents”. The murals were cut from the moldings, removed from their panels, rolled up and discarded. Leona and Robert Brown of East Glacier saved fifteen of the murals and stored them at their home. The murals were passed down to their granddaughter Leanne and her husband Alan Goldhahn. In September of 2012, Leanne donated the murals to the Hockaday in memory of her grandparents, Leona and Robert Brown.

The restoration of Glacier National Park Mural has been made possible through the generosity of Leanne and Alan Goldhahn, Joe Abbrescia Jr., Mark Norley, and donations to the Hockaday Museum of Art Permanent Collection Fund.

Reference:Chacon, Hipolito Rafael. The Miraculous Survival of the Art of Glacier National Park, Montana The Magazine of Western History Summer 2010:56-74.

Ethan McCauley and the Installation of “St. Mary Lodge”

Restoration made possible in part by

2016
Abbrescia Art Restoration, LLC
Ken Avison
Don Beans & Leslie Ann Budewitz
Ken Cameron
Wendy Coyne
Crow’s Nest Art Gallery
Les Cyr
Jane Felker
Fidelity Title Agency of Lake County
First Citizens Bank of Polson
First Interstate Bank of Polson
Boyd and Peggy Foster
Greater Polson Community Foundation
Leanne Goldhahn
Hardwick Post 112
Wilson & Charlotte Higgs
P.W. Hinman In Memory of Caleb Baukol
Penny & Chuck Jarecki
Marvin Kaschke
Denny Kellogg
Lake County Commissioners
Chantel & Bob McCauley
Ron & Sharon McCauley
Jayne Flynn McManus
James & Julia Manley
Lou & Irene Marchello
Mission Valley Elks #1695
Karl Oehrtman & Carol Mitch
Michael Parker & Debbie Larson
Katherine Pedersen
Jim & Jan Phillips
Polson Kiwanis
Polson Lions Club
Polson Rotary
Roger & Elisabeth “Libby” Smith
Roy & Nancy Souder
Ed & Joey Story
Story Garschina Family
The Marshall Frankel Foundation
Linda Tutvedt
Whitefish Credit Union – Polson
Chad & Katie Wold
Clay Wold
Doug & Linda Wold
Alan & Patti Young
Antionette Young

2015 and Earlier
Joe Abbrescia, Jr.
The Baldridge Family
BNSF Railway Foundation
Jerry d’Aquin in honor of Alexandra d’Aquin
Jerry d’Aquin in memory of Philip d’Aquin
Leanne and Alan Goldhahn
Hockaday Museum of Art Permanent Collection Fund
Mark Norley
Underwritten by Con-Sul, Inc.
The Williams Company

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  • Date: 01 Jan 2021 - 01 Jan 2051
  • Location:Hockaday Museum of Art
  • Curators:Pat Roath & Beth Furney
  • Duration:60 Minutes (approximately)

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