Winter Hours: Tuesday 11am–5pm Wednesday through Saturday 11am–4pm
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.
Restoration made possible in part by
Abbrescia Art Restoration, LLC
Don Beans & Leslie Ann Budewitz
Crow’s Nest Art Gallery
Fidelity Title Agency of Lake County
First Citizens Bank of Polson
First Interstate Bank of Polson
Boyd and Peggy Foster
Greater Polson Community Foundation
Hardwick Post 112
Wilson & Charlotte Higgs
P.W. Hinman In Memory of Caleb Baukol
Penny & Chuck Jarecki
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
Jim & Jan Phillips
Polson Lions Club
Roger & Elisabeth “Libby” Smith
Roy & Nancy Souder
Ed & Joey Story
Story Garschina Family
The Marshall Frankel Foundation
Whitefish Credit Union – Polson
Chad & Katie Wold
Doug & Linda Wold
Alan & Patti 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
Underwritten by Con-Sul, Inc.
The Williams Company