Museums & Galleries
MUSEUMS and GALLERIES
Northwest Montana has a rich history that melds Native American, logging, fishing, trapping, farming and railroad cultures. Learning about that history and tradition adds a great deal of perspective to your time in the outdoors. It helps you understand how communities took root here and how we continue to balance economy and culture with the wildness that surrounds us.
Kalispell is an artistic community filled with great musicians, photographers and painters. We highly recommend taking in a Glacier Symphony concert, touring the Hockaday Museum of Art, spending time in the galleries downtown, visiting the Conrad Mansion, exploring the Northwest Montana History Museum and shopping our farmers market on Saturday mornings.
The Conrad Mansion
Experience the texture and details of late-19th-century life up close and personal with a tour of the opulent home of Kalispell’s founder, Charles Conrad. Inside this sprawling, 13,000-square-foot manor you’ll find more than 90 percent of the home’s original furnishings. Tours are available in the summer and the mansion is open for special events throughout the year; visit the Conrad Mansion online for information.
The Northwest Montana History Museum
Charles Conrad was not the first person to call the Flathead Valley home. You can explore the valley’s deepest roots and earliest industries through four permanent exhibits at the Northwest Montana History Museum. Housed in an 1894 schoolhouse, the museum offers exhibits on regional Native American history, the early timber industry and the valley’s earliest European settlers.
Hockaday Museum of Art
The cultural history of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park has a fitting home at the Hockaday Museum of Art. The museum itself is housed in a stunning classical-revival-style building, originally erected as the town library in 1901. The permanent “Crown of the Continent” exhibition features classic works by some of Montana’s best-known Western artists, including Charles M. Russell and O.C. Seltzer.
Montana Modern Fine Art
Located in historic downtown Kalispell, Montana Modern Fine Art specializes in the exhibition and sale of contemporary artists with ties to the Flathead Valley. The works tend to be colorful, more abstract than literal and often incorporate artists' interpretations of northwest Montana landscapes, culture and wildlife.
Three art co-ops are clustered in the center of Kalispell's historic downtown, each one in a carefully-preserved early 1900's building. Sassafras, Montana Marie's, and Paint, Metal & Mud specialize in locally-crafted fine art, apparel, jewelry, furniture, photography, jams, soaps and other treasures.