Learning about a Copper King: Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents lecture on Marcus Daly

2012-01-13T20:19:00Z 2012-01-14T07:13:07Z Learning about a Copper King: Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents lecture on Marcus DalyBy WHITNEY BERMES - Ravalli Republic Ravalli Republic
January 13, 2012 8:19 pm  • 

The Bitterroot Valley's most famous early resident and his artistic granddaughter will be the topics of an upcoming lecture at the University of Montana.

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture will present a lecture by David Emmons on Copper King Marcus Daly on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.

The presentation pairs nicely with an exhibition the museum is currently showing of artwork by Daly's granddaughter, Frances Carroll Brown.

"We wanted to make that connection," said Brandon Reintjes, MMAC curator of art. "Since there's not a whole lot of information known about here, we thought it would be a good program to present in tandem with Marcus Daly. ... (Emmons) has written so extensively about Marcus Daly. Then we can kind of piece together how Frances Carroll Brown fits in."

Emmons, a history professor emeritus at UM, will be presenting an overview of Marcus Daly. He will discuss Daly's origins, his involvement with the Anaconda Mining Company, his projects in the Bitterroot Valley and his family, including Frances Carroll Brown.

"And his influence and what a transformative person he's been for western Montana," Reintjes added.

MMAC has been showcasing Brown's art since early December and will continue running the exhibition until Feb. 25.

The collection on display was gifted to the museum by Brown's caretaker Mary Jean Warlen in 2010. It includes 19 oil paintings and seven drawings, mostly all portraits, all dating back to about the 1930s. MMAC also borrowed six of Brown's drawings owned by the Daly Mansion.

"Some of the subjects they had are the same subjects that were depicted by Frances Carroll Brown for us," Reintjes said.

And thanks to an exhibition of her work in 2002 in Baltimore, where Brown was born in 1909, the museum has been able to identify some of the subjects and time periods of her pieces.

"She largely didn't provide titles or dates, so it's a little bit of a mystery for many of them," Reintjes said.

Brown, born in Baltimore, was raised primarily by her father after her mother passed away when Brown was a young girl.

Brown and her sister spent much time in Europe, attending finishing school and traveling the continent.

After returning to the United States, the Stock Farm in Hamilton became a regular destination for Brown and her sister. They even had a large enough share in the Stock Farm to require their permission and involvement with finances and upkeep of the property.

The two later transferred their shares and quit coming quite as often.

"But they remembered this wonderful place that they had visited. It was special to them," Reintjes said.

Browns' artwork, when first donated to MMAC was all in need of some tender love and care. Thanks to a grant from the F. Morris and Helen Silver Foundation, the works were preserved and added to the museum's permanent collection.

"At the outset when they were damaged and in poorer condition, for the donor and the foundation to realize a really important chapter in Montana art history that had never been discussed before, we were really grateful for that insight," Reintjes said.

And as part of the vision the museum had for the works when they were first gifted, the exhibit will travel in 2014 to museums of the Montana Art Gallery Directors' Association.

Thursday's lecture at UM will also include opening remarks on Brown by Reintjes. It will take place in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center's Masquer Theater. It is free and open to the public.

Brown's exhibition is on display in the PAR/TV Center's Paxon Gallery.

"I know the drive from Hamilton and all through the Bitterroot is a long one to get to an evening program to Missoula. But I hope people will appreciate the significance of the corridor and the connection to the exhibit and attend," Reintjes said. "It'll be worth their while."

Reach reporter Whitney Bermes at 363-3300 or whitney.bermes@ravallirepublic.com.



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