Arts & Culture

  • The Distinctly Montana Interview with Michael Punke

    By Lindsay Tran
    "Here, we owe a great debt to past generations – people like George Bird Grinnell whose vision and tenacity protected places like Yellowstone and Glacier. But protecting these places did not happen by accident, or without great opposition."
  • Hogan's Army Heads East

    By Nick Mitchell
    So Hogan didn't exactly hijack the train with his band of pirates. He did the next best thing, meeting with the mayor and county commissioners and asking them to help him enlist the support of the Northern Pacific, which was itself bankrupt and in receivership.
  • If You Aint' Got a Cowboy Hat, You Ain't ****

    By Dan Vichorek
    When they let me out of high school I didn't have a hat. That was okay. John Kennedy showed you you didn't need a hat to be successful. Kennedy was the first president since Abe Lincoln who was never photographed in a cowboy hat or Indian war bonnet. He got elected anyway, and girls liked him too. So much for hats.
  • The Landscapes of Norman Maclean: Forest, Mountains, Water

    By Bryan Spellman
    Norman Maclean was not born in Montana, nor did he die here. His published work is slim, especially when compared to A.B. Guthrie or Ivan Doig. But I wager that if you asked people what piece of writing best exemplifies Montana, many would respond A River Runs Through It. 
  • Shin-Plasters and Brass Checks

    By Lyndel Meikle
    The mine’s employees were often paid in “shin-plasters” and “brass checks.” A shin plaster was a derogatory name for paper scrip. Often of absurdly low denominations, they had the reputation of being as worthless as any slip of paper the men used as padding in their socks to keep their boots from rubbing on their shins.
  • Montana Baseball History

    By Skylar Browning & Jeremy Watterson
    Never mind that Frank James Burke — most often referred to as “Brownie and best known for standing just four feet, seven inches — started out as a mascot. Despite his small stature, the Marysville native ended up making a big impact on the national pastime.
  • 7 Most Important Indian Battles in Montana History

    By Walter Fleming
    Major Eugene Baker of the Second Cavalry was sent to punish the Piegan (Blackfeet) village of Mountain Chief who was thought to be harboring the murders of Malcolm Clarke, prominent Montana rancher. Instead, the Calvary mistakenly attacked the village of Heavy Runner, known to be peaceful.
  • Montana’s Vintage Neon Signs—an Endangered Species

    By Teresa Otto
    It started with a random photo of the Top Notch Lunch sign in Great Falls. Originally an ice cream parlor, the sign was added in 1938 when the place became a diner. As I sat in a booth near the back of the cafe, enjoying a sloppy joe that was too big to pick up, I knew this sign was just the beginning.
  • Ernest Hemingway’s Adventures in Montana

    By Chris Warren
    Hemingway’s time in the Yellowstone High Country began on July 13, 1930, when he first crossed the Clark’s Fork and settled onto the L—T Ranch ten miles outside of Cooke City, Montana. The ranch was owned by Olive and Lawrence Nordquist; the “L” and “T” stood for the first and last letters in the latter’s name.
  • From Poker to Horseshoes

    By Bill Muhlenfeld
    If there is one place where Old West meets New it’s at the rodeo, where broncin’ buckaroos, flashy cowgirls and murderous bulls enjoy a few hours, all together in a large, penned arena. With so much ruckus it definitely (still) pays to have a bit of luck on your side so never, absolutely never, wear a yellow shirt while competing.
  • Military Veterans in Bronze

    By Holly Matkin, Photos by Holly Matkin
    When I first met Lyle, he was hard at work in his studio at the back of the gallery. I initially thought my misstep into his creative space made me a frustrating distraction and I attempted to duck back out, but Lyle immediately welcomed me.
  • The Cowboy and the Lady: Montana's Biggest Movie Stars

    By Kari Bowles
    The Treasure State was the birthplace of two of the biggest movie stars of the golden age of American cinema: Gary Cooper and Myrna Loy. If readers don’t recognize the names, they would do well to look into them.