The MonDak Heritage Center Announces The Pure Quill Exhibition, February 5-April 27


February 6, 2019 | View PDF

The MonDak Heritage Center announces the Pure Quill exhibition by Barbara Van Cleve, on display from February 5 to April 27 at the MonDak, 120 3rd Ave SE, Sidney. Sponsored by the Sweet Grass Arts Alliance and brought to MDHC by the Montana Art Gallery Director's association, the photography exhibition spans Van Cleve's career and showcases her passion for ranch life in the West, women in ranching, photography by moonlight, rodeo as dance, the Spanish Missionary Trail in California and Mexico, and women and horses.

In the vernacular of the West, the term pure quill means "authentic, real, through and through". Barbara Van Cleve's gripping photographs of the West she knows and loves give vision to that term. Born and raised on a working cattle and horse ranch in Montana's Crazy Mountains, for seven decades Van Cleve has focused her lens on land and sky and the men, women and animals who animate it. In riveting compositions and captivating textures, her photographs dispel the Hollywood myths associated with the West, while conveying its true adventure and vibrant personalities.

Van Cleve, who lives in Big Timber, Montana, has chosen to tell her stories in black and white photographs that speak to the mind and heart. The photographs in this exhibit are part of her lifelong work included in a new book Pure Quill: Photographs by Barbara Van Cleve, published in 2017 by University of New Mexico Press. In February 2017, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum announced that Pure Quill won the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Photography Book.

For more information contact MDHC at 406-433-3500 or visit The MonDak Heritage Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 1to 4 p.m.


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