Montana Arts Council Review of Historic Photos of Montana

Montana Arts Council: State of the Arts newspaper
July/August 2009

Review of Historic Photos of Montana
Text and captions by Gary Glynn
Turner Publishing Company, Nashville, TN
$39.95 hardcover

Fourth generation Montanan Gary Glynn has been writing about Montana for more than two decades. He is the author of Montana’s Home Front During World War II, numerous articles for both national and regional magazines and is a longtime contributor to the Missoulian newspaper.

In assembling the photographs for his book, Historic Photos of Montana, the author chose pictures to illustrate various aspects of history through “architecture, public spaces, commerce and infrastructure.”

Scenes of early settlements with crude structures and tents are mingled with handsome brick buildings and shots from downtown Missoula and Helena.
Assemblies of military troops, miners, loggers and school children pose for the cameras of notable photographers R.H. McKay and Stan Healy. Famed Native American photographic chronicler Edward S. Curtis is also represented in this work.

The preface to this book suggests that we learn from the past, and that photographs can be less subjective than an author’s words, leaving the observer to form his own untainted perspective of a scene.

Many of these original photographs reside in archival collections that are not easily accessed by the general public. With the assistance of the Mansfield Library at The University of Montana, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula and the Library of Congress, Glynn has gleaned a treasure trove of images that illustrate the many faces and places of our state’s rich and colorful history. – Judy Shafter

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