Museum logo
Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Artist Rummel, Jay
Nationality or Tribal Affiliation American
Title Five Valleys Trilogy
Type of Object Print
Date 1995 print of 1981-83 paintings
Medium Offset Photolithograph
Edition 60/75
Dimensions H-105.7 W-70 D-2 cm
Dimension Details Each print framed to above size. The image area of print (a) is 83.8 x 59 cm, owing to an error in the printing process. The image area of prints (b) and (c) are each 90.4 x 57.5 cm.
Collection Missoula Art Museum Collection
How acquired Purchased with an anonymous gift
Object ID 1996.02a-c
Statement about this object The Five Valleys Trilogy consists of three panels that are titled, from left to right: Road to the Buffalo (Object #1996.02a), When First Unto this Country (Object #1996.02b), and Lady from Missoula County (Object #1996.02c). MAM's prints are from an edition of photolithographs derived from the original large-scale paintings that Rummel between 1981-1983 (with some assistance from Doug Grimm). The paintings are on long-term loan to the University of Montana and hang in the PAR-TV building.

According to Missoula Independent reporter Erika Fredrickson:

"He made the work as part of a contract to paint the history of Missoula for the Top Hat bar. At the top of 'When First Unto This Country,' you can see the primeval forest of pre-human Montana, and below that, the arrival of the first people, the Indians, who lived off the land for 10,000 years until white settlers showed up. Toward the bottom is Fort Fizzle and the arrival of Thomas C. Power, the founder of Helena. 'Road to the Buffalo' depicts Sacajawea and the spread of railroads.

"'Lady from Missoula County' depicts Missoula's contemporary art and music scene. In the center of the piece are the Snake River Outlaws, a then-popular band from the Bitterroot, playing raucous country-folk at the Sunshine Bar on the corner of Woody and Alder. Next to that is Spider's Maverick Bar, a watering hole owned by a man named Spider McCullum that closed after Spider was murdered with an ax. There's also an image of a crew drinking at Eddie's Club that comprises a self-portrait of Rummel, in his hat and vest, standing next to photographer Lee Nye (whose portraits of bar patrons still cover the walls at Charlie B's), a local character named Adam Gardipee and musician Michail Story. Story and Rummel often played music together at the Top Hat, and Rummel hosted an open mic called Ace Wheeler's Talent Showcase at Luke's Bar. In the bottom corner of the piece is Missoula's train depot, still standing at the north end of Higgins Avenue near the XXXXs, with Juhl's old Studebaker parked outside.

"The one of the best examples of Rummel's realism. When people think of the art of the West, they're often thinking of the landscapes-the big sky, the mountains-of Charlie Russell. Both Rummel and Russell, though they worked in completely different styles, were committed to portraying Montana's indigenous roots and lamenting the disappearance of the traditional West.

"'That exists in Jay's work,' says Stephen Glueckert, artist and former curator at the Missoula Art Museum. 'He's trying to say that one day, this is all going to be gone.'"

- Erika Frederickson, "Twenty Years After His Death, Artist Jay Rummel Still Haunts Missoula," Missoula Independent, June 15, 2017.
Classification Triptychs
Figurative Art
Subjects Westward expansion
Native Americans
Search Terms Missoula, Montana
People Sacajawea