The Leroy Strand Collection
Great Falls, MT
The C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, is now showing a large grouping of artwork from the Leroy Strand Collection, which was acquired as a gift in 2016 from the Leroy Strand Foundation. The acquisition totaled 376 objects, including 280 sculptures and 96 paintings and drawings. Many of those works are on view now, with more planned to be rotated in as part of the Leroy Strand Collection.
Strand, who lived and worked around horses and cattle in Montana from 1944 until 1998, was an avid art collector, as well as a philanthropist who donated generously to the C.M. Museum and to communities throughout Montana. Strand was also a World War II veteran, who experienced heavy combat in the Pacific. He died in 2016, the same year his foundation gifted the C.M. Russell with his art collection, which was filled with works by Montana artists.
“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,” says Brenda Kornick, collections and exhibitions director at the museum. “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.”
Works in the exhibition include several bronzes by Jay Contway, including the roping bronze A Wreck A’comin and a horse and carriage work titled The Country Doctor. Two other cowboy bronzes are J.C. Dye’s On Top of the World, featuring a bucking bronco, and another Contway work, Montana Centennial, which shows a rider chasing down a pair of bulls. These pieces join other works by Ken Mayernik, Don Ream, Harvey Rattey and Steven E. Lillegard.
Paintings include Gary Carter’s Greasy Sack Outfit and Ray Gillespie’s Untitled [Wooden Wagon and Sod House].
The Leroy Strand Collection joins the museum at the end of an exciting summer lineup that included the landmark exhibition Charles M. Russell: The Women in His Life and Art. The Strand Collection will be on display through December.
Left: Gary Carter, Greasy Sack Outfit, oil on panel. C.M. Russell Museum. TheLeroy Strand Collection.Right: Steven E. Lillegard, A Little Help on a Windy Day, bronze, ed. 2 of 25. C.M. Russell Museum. The Leroy Strand Collection.
Jay Contway, Montana Centennial, 1989, bronze, paint, ed. 1 of 100. C.M. Russell Museum. The Leroy Strand Collection.