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Museum of the Plains Indian

US Hwy 89 & 2
Browning, MT

Phone: 406-338-2230

Statement of Purpose:

The Museum of the Plains Indian, founded in 1941, is administered by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, an independent Federal agency located in the U.S. Department of the Interior, whose purpose is to promote the developement of contemporary Native American arts of the United States.


The Museum of the Plains Indian exhibits the creative achievements of Native American artists and craftspeople of the United States. A permanent exhibit presents the rich diversity of historic arts of the tribal peoples of the Northern Plains, and two special exhibition galleries are devoted to changing presentations promoting the creative works of outstanding talented contemporary Native American artists and craftspeople.

Also on view is WINDS of CHANGE, a five-screen multi-media presentation about the the evolution of Indian cultures on the Northern Plains, narrated by the distinguished actor, Vincent Price, and produced for the Museum by Montana State University.

Architectural decorations of the Museum building, all devoted to historic Indian cultural subjects, include two carved wood panels at the entrance by the noted Blackfeet sculptor, John Clarke, and a series of murals in the lobby by Victor Pepion, Blackfeet artist.

During the summer season, a display of painted tipis is featured on the Museum grounds where visitors may also view a monument dedicated to a 1931 sign language conference attended by an intertribal group of experts in Plains Indian handgesture language.


A permanent exhibition gallery presents the richness and diversity of historic arts created by tribal peoples of the Northern Plains, including the Blackfeet, Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Sioux, Assiniboine, Arapaho, Shoshone, Nez Perce, Flathead, Chippewa, and Cree. Highlighting the historic exhibitions is a display of the varied traditional costumes of Northern Plains men, women, and children, presented in complete detail on life-size figures. Other historic displays are devoted to the numerous art forms related to the social and ceremonial aspects of the tribal cultures of the region.

1999 Calendar of Events::

The Museum of the Plains Indian, administered by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the U.S. Department of the Interior, announces the opening preview of the 16th Annual Summer Sales Exhibit, June 13, 1999. The exhibit will continue through November 13, 1999. The 16th Annual Summer Sales Exhibit comprises works of art by 30 to 50 outstanding artists and craftspeople from the Western United States. Works of art for sale in the Museum galleries will include oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures, beadwork, and traditional crafts.

For permission to photograph in the galleries, inquire at the information desk, or call (406)338-2230. Photography is prohibited in the craft shop operated by the Northern Plains Indian Crafts Association.

In addition to the Museum of the Plains Indian, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board administers the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Southern Plains Indian Museum in Anadarko, Oklahoma.



Directions: Junctions of Highways 2 & 89 West


Key Personnel:

Loretta F. Pepion, Curator

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