Object Record

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Catalog Number 1981.58.01
Object Name Painting
Artist Beauchamp, John W. "Jack" (1906-1957)
Dimensions H-68.5 W-290.75 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 representative of early Montana exploration and settlement, in two sections.

Section (a) includes (roughly from left to right):

The Lewis and Clark party -- Sacajawea is mounted on a horse; York and another man stand next to her. Two men are seated in the foreground; one of these men is writing in a journal.

Men packing horses. There are flatboats on the river in the distant background.

A hunter with a deer slung over his shoulder; an artist holding a pallet and brush (self-portrait of Beauchamp); a man pointing to a painting which sits on an easel that leans against a tree; and two Indian men seated in the foreground--one of whom is a shaman with "fangs" and grossly disfigured fingers; the other holds a long pipe. In the background there are two hunters shooting at a deer, and a mounted Indian hunting buffalo.

Fathers DeSmet and Ravalli ministering to a group of Indians. Father DeSmet holds a cross; Father Ravalli holds a bottle of medicine. A seated mother and child dominate the foreground. St. Mary's Mission is depicted in the background.

A pioneer family with covered wagons in the background; two Indian men trading furs with a white fur trader; and Indians burning a pioneer cabin in the background.

A red-coated military figure; a man holding a U.S. flag; a beaver chewing on a log; a trapper; and a man felling trees with a broadax. The background is comprised of a log fort situated on a river.

Running across the entire mural, the distant background is comprised of a range of tree-less, grass-covered mountains.

Section (b) is a continuation of half of the tree which is being felled, a stump, and a background of river and hills.
Search Terms Lewis and Clark
Helena, MT
Missouri River
Native American
American Indian