Installation of Leroy Strand Collection Now Open at C.M. Russell Museum

THE C.M. RUSSELL MUSEUM will greet summer visitors in 2018 with a freshly transformed gallery featuring a new view of the impressive Leroy Strand Collection. With over 40 rarely seen pieces by notable Montana artists, the evolving exhibit celebrates the area’s treasured landscapes, wildlife, rodeo and cowboy way of life.

Befitting the magnitude of the art gifted by the Leroy Strand Foundation in 2016, the museum curatorial staff is staging the installations in a series of engaging exhibitions. More than 376 objects, including 280 sculptures and 96 paintings and drawings, will be phased into the museum gallery over time. The summer showing is a completely new look at the collection.

“Leroy Strand was a generous and thoughtful member of our Western art community, and we are continually captivated as we unveil each part of his collection at the C.M. Russell Museum,” said Collections and Exhibitions Director Brenda Kornick. “With each installation, we hope to share the appreciation that Mr. Strand clearly had for the talented artists that captured the essence of Montana and the American West.”
The summer installation includes remarkable oil and watercolor paintings, drawings, and 25 bronze sculptures. Local artists such as Don Greytak, Jay Contway and Ken Mayernik feature prominently in this collection.

The new edition of the Leroy Strand Collection joins the museum’s landmark summer exhibition Charles M. Russell: The Women in His Life and Art. The exhibition and accompanying full-color catalogue with 60 carefully selected works are bold developments in Russell scholarship that pay tribute to the women who nurtured Russell’s artistic development and success. The Strand Collection will be on display through December 2018; Charles M. Russell: The Women in His Life and Art is open until September 30, 2018.

About Oswald Leroy Strand (1919-2016)

Oswald Leroy Strand (1919-2016) was born on a farm near Manly, Iowa. He served in World War II as an enlisted member of the 112th Cavalry of the U. S. Army and saw combat in the Pacific Ocean Theatre, receiving four Bronze Stars and accolades for his service.

Strand spent much of his life working with and around cattle and horses. As a boy, he was a member of 4-H and grew up helping with his father’s livestock business, later becoming a partner in his company, Oswald Strand & Son. In 1944, Strand, his parents, and his brother purchased a cattle ranch near Geyser, Montana. Strand became the sole owner in 1964 and actively managed the ranch until 1998.

In 1997, Strand and his second wife Claris established the Geyser Public School Strand Scholarship and have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to be awarded to graduates of Geyser High School to further their educations. Strand was an avid art collector and generous supporter of the C.M. Russell Museum. In 2016, the Strand Foundation was established to provide enduring and continued support to the communities, organizations and people of Central Montana. The Leroy Strand Collection is an extension of this legacy to further the museum’s mission to communicate the importance of the American West to all audiences.

About the C.M. Russell Museum

The mission of the C.M. Russell Museum is to collect, preserve, research, interpret and educate on the art and life of Charles M. Russell; the art and lives of his contemporaries; and the art of preceding and ensuing generations that depicts and focuses on the culture, life and country of Russell’s West.

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