Missoula Art Museum, Montana

Will Beck
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

Missoula Art Museum is a museum hosting contemporary art in downtown Missoula. Accredited by the American Associations of Museums, Missoula Art Museum offers guests thought-provoking exhibits and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Free to the public, the museum has six galleries, an information lounge, an education center, and a library. The museum also has a bookstore where visitors can buy gifts and souvenirs.

Most exhibitions at Missoula Art Museum focus on living artists that focus on the region. Missoula Art Museum also highlights contemporary Native art in a dedicated gallery.

Some notable past exhibitions have included Our Side: Elisa Harkins, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Marianne Nicolson, And Tanis Maria S’eiltin, assembled by Wendy Red Star, and The Process of Painting featuring paintings by Gennie Deweese.

Guests are unlikely to not find something to their tastes while walking through the exhibits. The museum has a variety of art showcased. From ceramics to paintings, there’s something everyone can enjoy.

Being situated downtown, the museum is also in an excellent location and not hard to find. Anyone planning to visit Missoula should consider making a visit to Missoula Art Museum as it’s definitely worth the trip.

Museum Details

museum details
Image: Missoulaartmuseum

If you want to learn more about the Missoula Art Museum, you might want to head on over to their website. The museum’s website provides useful information on upcoming events, exhibitions, and more.

Here’s some basic information below you might find useful, as well as their contact info:

  • The museum is located downtown in Missoula at 335 North Pattee
  • Their website can be found here
  • Their phone number is 406-728-0447
  • The museum email is
  • Their hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM
  • There is metered pay by the hour parking near the museum
  • Admission is free

History of Missoula Art Museum

The Missoula Art Museum has a long and rich history. It has humble beginnings as the Missoula Public Library which was built in 1903. In the 70s, the event Festival of the Arts began and became quite popular. Over 10,000 people attended the event in 1972.

Seeing the success of the event, the Festival of the Arts Committee petitioned the city council to establish a civic center in the old and unused Missoula Public Library building.

The council agreed and in 1974, the building was remodeled. On March 15, 1975, the first exhibit opened Native Funk and Flash. This exhibit showcased the hip and experimental culture common at the time.

The museum began to grow slowly and was awarded accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums in 1987. In 1995, the museum became a nonprofit organization.

Later in the early 2000s, the organization began to focus on remodeling and expanding the museum. In 2006, a new building for the art museum is built and is nearby the library building.

Today the Missoula Art Museum is a widely renowned organization that is famous for its unique art exhibits. It is an integral part of the city’s arts community and culture The museum even has an Art Park today that features outdoor sculptures crafted by both local and world-famous artists.

Educational Opportunities at the Museum

educational opportunities at the museum
Image: Missoulaartmuseum

Missoula Art Museum offers many educational opportunities to guests. There are several educational options for visitors of all ages. The museum offers art classes, summer classes, tours, and more.

A popular educational opportunity at the Missoula Art Museum is the summer camps that they offer to children ages six to twelve.

There are a variety of fun and exciting camps children can attend, including one on raptors and art, horses, and clay. These camps are day camps that meet from 9 AM to 12 PM.

Classes are typically held in the classrooms at the museum or the Art Park nearby. These classes are taught by professional artists and offer a chance for kids to express their creativity.

Even adults can hone their art skills in one of the adult workshops the museum offers. There are several classes offered for adults, including one on ceramics and another one focused on demoing the process of art.

Adults can even take a class that was originally just for kids that focuses on raptors. The adult version of the class allows students to study live raptors like owls and then draw them.

Missoula Art Museum also offers tours to guests. There are free group tours every Saturday during the summer starting at 1 PM. The museum also offers tours for schools.

The museum recommends emailing the museum well in advance if you plan on bringing more than fifteen individuals for the tour.

The Missoula Art Museum–Conclusion

The Missoula Art Museum is a great place to go visit well staying in Missoula. If you’re planning on going downtown well in Missoula the art museum is a must-see. With interesting and unique exhibits that are constantly changing, the museum is well worth going to.

The contemporary art showcased here is both interesting and fascinating, that help provide a look into the local culture of Montana. And unlike many other museums, seeing the art showcased here is completely free. Everyone has a chance to experience the exhibits offered here regardless of their budget.

With various educational opportunities and a variety of exhibits, the Missoula Art Museum is a great place to go if you’re got time to kill or are interested in Montana’s art scene.

If you want a better sense of what the museum has to offer, check out its YouTube Page which features hundreds of videos on exhibits and interviews with artists.

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About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with travel a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than hitting the road in his self-build campervan and visiting off-the-beaten-path places, away from popular tourist destinations.

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