‘The Vietnam Experience’ on view

Untitled, oil on canvas by Helen McAuslan.

Untitled, oil on canvas by Helen McAuslan.


On view through November 23, 2014 at the Missoula Art Museum: “Helen McAuslan: The Kent State Paintings” gives a visual reminder on what happen on May 4, 1970 when the Ohio National guardsman fired 67 rounds over 13 seconds into a crowd of students. They killed four students and wounded nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis. Artist McAuslan was also deeply affected and was immediately inspired to create these works; thusly, the Kent State incident also had a profound public opinion affect during an already contentious time over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.

     McAuslan was an early Montana modernist who maintained a working ranch in Springdale, Montana, and later lived in a cabin on the Boulder River near McLeod, Montana. She was extremely well-traveled as well as a gifted and prolific draftsman and painter.

"The Whole World is Watching", mixed media by Helen McAuslan.

“The Whole World is Watching”, mixed media by Helen McAuslan.


    During her lifetime she worked in isolation, largely ignored by the art world. However, she remained a deeply committed humanitarian, who found meaningful friendships with fellow artists Frances Senska and Bob and Gennie DeWeese. These lifelong friends worked diligently to preserve McAuslan’s legacy. She died in the early 1970s and the majority of her work was gifted to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. The Kent State paintings were among her last works included in that gift.

     In conjunction, the Big Read and Festival of the Book, which will be held Thursday, October 9 through 11, 2014, places emphasis on Vietnam era literature. This exhibition will be accompanied by text composed by Dr. H. Rafael Chacón, Associate Professor of Art History and Criticism, the University of Montana.

Untitled, oil on canvas by Helen McAuslan.

Untitled, oil on canvas by Helen McAuslan.


     See www.missoulaartmuseum.org or contact Stephen Glueckert, Senior Exhibitions Curator at stevegl@missoulaartmuseum.org or call 406.728.0447 x226.


Published by on September 2014. Filed under At the Museums dept, Bugle Section, Montana, News (Time related), Ohio, Palette News Arts Network/PNAN. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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