The Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center Collection

Western Art

Bronze Sculpture

The Guardian, Chief Joseph, August 9, 1877, Bronze by Michael Westergard

Paintings

The Harrison Collection includes oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, lithographs, prints, and other fine art. Many of the artists were known personally to the Harrisons.

Baskets and Pottery

The Harrison Collection also includes Native American handicrafts from the Southwest, Northwest Coast, California, and Alaska. There are approximately 30 pieces of pottery and 80 baskets including delicate Pomo feathered baskets.

Sculpture

Harrison admired the bronze sculptures of Michael Westergard because of their historical accuracy and minute detail. The Harrison Western Research Center contains one of the most complete collections of Westergard's work with more than fifty bronzes. Michael Westergard is a self-taught sculptor whose studio, the Westergard-Ragucci Bronze Studio is located in the northeast part of Montana. Westergard's work portrays the people and wildlife of the American West. A number of his bronzes are based on the watercolor paintings by Karl Bodmer (1809-1893). Bodmer traveled with Prince Maximillian zu Wied in 1832 through 1834 across nearly three-quarters of the North American continent. Bodmer's work documented the indigenous populations of the Missouri River Basin and the northern Great Plains. Westergard's bronzes bring these works "alive" as three dimensional forms.

Sculpture of a Hidatsa Chief

The Legend Maker: Addih-Hiddisch-Hidatsa, Michael Westergard bronze, based on the Karl Bodmer painting of Addih-Hiddisch.