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Rockpile Museum

Posted on: June 27, 2021

Rockpile Museum to Show Works of Evelyn Cameron, Early Professional Photographer

Evelyn Cameron Exhibit

ROCKPILE MUSEUM TO SHOW WORKS OF EVELYN CAMERON, EARLY PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER

Exhibit on display through September 2021

The Campbell County Rockpile Museum is delighted to invite the public to “Evelyn J. Cameron: Montana Photographs, 1894-1928,” a traveling exhibit from the Western Heritage Center in Billings, MT, that will be on display from Saturday, June 19th to Thursday, September 30th.  Cameron was a gifted photographer and writer who documented wildlife and ranch life in eastern Montana.  Her work offers views of the prairie’s unique beauty, as well as the extreme challenges faced by early homesteaders.

Rockpile Museum Director, Robert Henning, commented, “We are excited to share this stunning exhibit with the Gillette community and our visitors. It is a powerful story of the Great Plains landscape and the homesteading families who arrived in the late 19th century.  It is also a glimpse into the life and personality of Evelyn Cameron, who additionally ran the family’s ranching operation.”  Museum Assistant Brittney Elsasser, who curated the display in Gillette, added that “The images detail the day to day lives of the people who chose to homestead in the Great Plains and tells a story of the hardships and triumphs they faced.”  

Cecelia Gavinsky, Western Heritage Center’s Collections Manager and Cameron researcher, shared that “in addition to the historic and artistic impact of Cameron’s photographs, this exhibit also establishes that Evelyn herself was one of the first female wildlife photographers in the world.  Photography was, of course, a very new art form when Cameron started, and her work capturing the wild animals around her is groundbreaking for her time.”  Kevin Kooistra, WHC Director, agreed and added that “the Western Heritage Center is very dedicated to developing and sharing traveling exhibits like this, exhibits that can be enjoyed by many communities, and which are essential to understanding the West’s rich heritage.”

“Evelyn J. Cameron: Montana Photographs, 1894-1928” features an expansive series of black and white photographs that focus on the landscapes and wildlife of the Terry, MT area, as well as the many challenges faced by ranching families.  In addition, to help modern guests connect with the artwork, “Instagram” style panels have been added to offer a fresh perspective and an appreciation for the way that Cameron used photographs to share her own story with her family and friends back in England.  

“These beautiful photos are the first to be displayed on the new Roy Lowell Memorial Exhibition Wall in the Museum’s annex building,” said Henning.  “We want to thank Sherry Lowell and family for their generous gift to the museum in memory of the late Roy Lowell.”

The exhibit will be on display at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum (900 W 2nd St, Gillette, WY) from Saturday, June 19th to Thursday, September 30th.  Please visit the Museum’s website at www.rockpilemuseum.com or call 307-682-5723 for more information.  

Collect, Preserve, Educate.  The Campbell County Rockpile Museum tells the story of the Powder River Basin. The Rockpile Museum has exhibits about each of the different periods in the history of the Powder River Basin. The museum houses large collections of fossils, Native American artifacts, rifles, saddles, horse-drawn vehicles, and energy industry equipment. There are also videos related to the mining, transportation, and use of coal from the local mines. The museum has a full schedule of temporary exhibits and educational programming each year.

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