Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1981.58.02
Title HISTORY OF MONTANA - FRONTIER JUSTICE, THE
Object Name Painting
Artist Beauchamp, John W. "Jack" (1906-1957)
Dimensions H-68.6 W-302 inches
Medium Oil/Canvas
Date 1943-1944
Notes This is one of a series of murals collectively titled "The History of Montana." These murals were commissioned by saloon manager Kenny Egan for his Mint Cigar Store and Tavern which was located at 20-1/2 North Main Street in downtown Helena. The murals were removed from the walls of the Mint in 1960, prior to that building's demolition. The paintings were originally loaned to MHS by members of the Connors Family, and then donated to the Society in 1981.

This mural depicts scenes and figures of early Montana "frontier justice." This includes (roughly from left to right):

A miner shoveling ore into a rocker; a heavily-laden donkey stands behind him.

The "Mint Saloo[n]" where one poker player shoots another while the bartender hides behind the bar. A dance-hall girl, in a red dress, stands next to the card table. The background, which depicts the exterior of the saloon, includes a horse and rider, and buildings which bear signs advertising "Horse Shoeing" and "Groceries and Dry Goods."

A stagecoach robbery. Four armed men--three of whom wear bandannas as masks--hide behind boulders. Three passengers stand beside the stagecoach with arms upraised. The driver and shotgun-rider are still seated on the stagecoach.

A hanging. Two men have already been hanged and another stands with a noose around his neck in front of a group of armed vigilantes. In the background, more vigilantes drag another man from the brush.

Except for the portion of the mural devoted to the saloon interior, the mural's distant background is comprised of a range of treeless, grass-covered mountains.

The scene depicted is continued in mural #1981.58.03.
Search Terms Art
Mural
Gambling
Mining
Saloon
Stagecoach
Robbery