Livingston Museum

 Association Livingston Depot Center

- P.O. Box 1319, Livingston, MT 59047 -

406.222.2300

livingstondepot@gmail.com

 
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Summer 2016 Exhibits

“The Railroads of Ron Nixon”

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This eye-catching rail photos collection ranges from the inside of an engine cab to wreck scenes, railroad life, and Yellowstone Park trains.

   Nixon grew up an early 1900s family of telegraphers across different Montana locations.  His mother, a photographer herself, lent him a camera as a child, and the fascination began.  He started work as a telegrapher at 14 and worked with the railroads for a half century, but his photos on the side rapidly met with rave reviews and would be published regularly throughout his life in newspapers, calendars, and rail company posters and ads.
He died in 1989 with 30,000 images to his credit.  Shortly after his collection was purchased by the Museum of the Rockies and select images were compiled for a traveling exhibit by MoR Curator of Art and Photography Steve Jackson, who will present a guest lecture on Thursday, June 16 at 7 pm.

 

“Getting There:  From Livingston to Yellowstone”

                                                     Presented this year in honor of the 2016 National Park Service centennial, this exhibit looks

                                                     into the city’s role as the original departure point for the park starting with its earliest years forward. 

 

Regular Exhibits:
Rails Across the Rockies

The Livingston Depot in History and Architecture
Film in Montana

 

 



Summer 2015 Exhibits

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    "TRAIN IN ART"

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    Train + Depot = Light, Energy, Motion

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    Featuring a contemporary view of the Western Rails by Livingston artists Sheila Hrasky and Tandy Miles Riddle




    Summer 2014 Exhibits

    “Warren McGee" Railroad Photos




Summer 2013 Exhibits

“Livingston Found”

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The Depot Museum’s popular ongoing exhibit “Rails Across the Rockies: A Century of People and Places” introduces the visitor to the rich history of railroading in Montana with special attention to the Northern Pacific and its central role in the opening of Yellowstone, America’s first national park, through Livingston beginning in the 1880s.In addition to this main exhibit “Rails Across the Rockies,” the museum also presents “The Livingston Depot in History and Architecture,” “Film in Montana: Moviemaking under the Big Sky” and “LIVINGSTON FOUND: A PHOTOGRAPHIC TREASURE OF RESCUED HISTORIC IMAGES,” the special exhibit for 2013.

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Making its debut appearance in 2013 is LIVINGSTON FOUND: A PHOTOGRAPHIC TREASURE OF RESCUED HISTORIC IMAGES,” a special exhibition of photographs from the collection of Livingston photographer and guest Curator, Angela Gill.  The exhibit, sponsored by the Livingston Depot Foundation in collaboration with the photographer will feature a series of large format black and white prints of trains from a collection of original glass plate negatives rescued by the photographer.  “These unique images reveal some interesting aspects of local train history and are somewhat of a mystery,” stated Museum Director, Diana Seider. Guest curator, Angela Gill, states this is an amazing collection of rare and historic glass plate images now digitized, from the Livingston area, that have never before been on display, that we know of.” These plates were set to be destroyed along with a plethora of photographic equipment that Angela took interest in seven years ago and saved after several interesting coincidences. “It’s all a mystery as to who the photographer was and who the subjects are, but it’s very apparent that these are from Livingston” says Angela. “I credit my father who is a major train enthusiast for giving me the interest to save these images of steam engines and the train yard. I grew up breathing trains and have a darkroom of my own. I still use the old-time process and was naturally elated to find these plates and had to save them. It’s absolutely incredible that these images have survived, some of which are 100 years old. It’s finally time to show them and possibly solve some of the mystery with the help of our community” says Angela. The images have had minimal restoration and have been printed large scale on canvas but with great clarity due to the large negatives. Also on display will be some of the original camera equipment and darkroom supplies rescued from the same location.

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The museum plans to continue its “Third Thursday” summer program series beginning on June 20th at 7 p.m. with an evening reception for “LIVINGSTON FOUND: A PHOTOGRAPHIC TREASURE OF RESCUED HISTORIC IMAGES,” and guest curator Angela Gill. The event will feature music from Holler 'n Pine, honky-tonk piano; hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

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Summer 2012 Exhibits

"Edd Enders: Trains of Livingston"

TRAIN ENGINES   36 x 72 oil on canvas 2012



Summer 2011 Exhibits

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* 2010 Special Traveling Exhibition "Sweat & Steel" will be traveling to Montana museums through 2012
Railroad workers paintings by Livingston artist,

David Swanson

   


Rails Across the Rockies: A Century of People and Places

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Railroads played a critical role in the growth of the American West and modern Montana. Three of the five transcontinental railroads ran through this state.  Rails across the Rockies is our primary museum exhibit, telling the story of regional railroad history in a variety of sub-exhibits. For most of its first century, the U.S. was a society hugging the Atlantic Coast and spreading tentatively west of the Appalachians, but after the Civil War, interest in the sparsely populated West grew as railroads, the newest technology in transportation, inched toward the Pacific. In 1869, the first transcontinental railroad crossed the nation through its center, and the journey from East to West became a relatively safe and comfortable trip of a few days instead of the once arduous cross-country horse trek or lengthy voyage around South America.

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Now the race was on to tie the rest of the remote West to the centers of population. In 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad connected its eastern and western divisions, west of Livingston, forever binding Montana to the population centers in the Midwest and on the west coast. Between 1883 and 1909, two more transcontinental rail links crossed Montana. The railroads needed to fill both their passenger and freight trains and thus came to place a high priority on convincing settlers to move west, as well as on finding and promoting tourist destinations. Livingston was a key center for the Northern Pacific, both because it lay midway between the NP's endpoints at Seattle and St. Paul and because it was the first railroad gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Livingston also sat at the beginning of the Rocky Mountain passes the NP's workers had paid so dearly to cross.

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Once the railroad entered the mountains, the problem of steep grades, tunnels, and snowbound passes replaced the relative ease of crossing the Great Plains, both in construction and in operations. As you pass through these exhibits, you can begin to appreciate the extraordinary people who by skill, brawn, and often sheer will power created one of the greatest engineering feats in human history, -- the rails across the Rockies.

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THE LIVINGSTON DEPOT CENTER

The Livingston Depot Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to enriching the lives of residents of Livingston and surrounding, communities, and tourists to the Yellowstone area by (1) restoring, preserving and protecting the historic Northern Pacific depot, now a community cultural center - The Livingston Depot Center; (2) presenting and promoting the visual and performing arts, culture, history of the Yellowstone Region, and educational programs in the arts and humanities; and (3) promoting community involvement, tourism and economic development through the operation and use of the Livingston Depot Center


Please send comments and corrections to:

livingstondepot@gmail.com

 
 

©2017 The Livingston Depot Foundation -Livingston Montana