Glacier National Park recently received a generous donation of 21 historic paintings from Glacier Park, Inc. The paintings, originally created for the hotels, motels and lodges in the park, include pieces by John Fery, Frank Stick, R.H. Palenske, Charles Defeo and Richmond.
The pieces were originally owned and/or commissioned by the Great Northern Railway, many depicting iconic scenes from in and around Glacier National Park. All of the paintings are estimated to have originated between 1909 and 1915, and have been on display at Lake McDonald Lodge, Many Glacier Hotel, Rising Sun Motor Inn and the Two Medicine Campstore in the park.
The majority of the pieces are oil on canvas paintings. They range in size from 2.5 feet x 1.5 feet, to almost 6 feet x 12 feet. Some are by unknown artists. A plaque commemorating the donation will be placed by each painting.
A condition of the donation was that the paintings remain in the hotels, motels and lodges for which they were created. “We greatly appreciate the willingness of the National Park Service to ensure that the original paintings be displayed in the lodges and properties within Glacier National Park, as they were intended when the Hill Family of the Great Northern Railway commissioned the paintings in the early 1900s. We are pleased that these beautiful images of the park’s history will continue to be enjoyed by many more generations,” said Glacier Park, Inc. Vice President and General Manager Ron Cadrette.
“We are thrilled to receive this wonderful gift from Glacier Park, Inc.,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “These paintings help tell the story of the early tourist accommodations in the park and the connection the railroad had in promoting this area to the nation.”
Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc.- Glacier National Park Lodges, will be responsible for the care and maintenance of the paintings through their concessions contract with the park.
Glacier Park, Inc., also known as GPI and a subsidiary of Viad Corp, is currently the owner and operator of two properties within the park: Motel Lake McDonald and Apgar Village Lodge. They also own and operate five other lodging properties in the local vicinity of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park. Glacier Park, Inc. operated many of the park lodges and hotels as the primary concessioner in the park until 2014.