Montana has increasingly become a state of artistic treasures, from Missoula’s own Missoula Art Museum and Montana Museum of Arts and Culture, to Tippet Rise outside of Bozeman, to Sculpture in the Wild in Lincoln, to many other arts venues in urban and rural settings. In his presentation to City Club Missoula, Dr. Rafael Chacón will document the remarkable resurgence of the arts in our community and state, how that came to be, and what it means for Montana and Montanans.
Chacón is the Bruce and Suzanne Crocker Director of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture at the University of Montana. Before his appointment to that post in January, he was Professor of Art History & Criticism in the School of Art at UM, where he taught for 25 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in art from Wabash College and his master’s and doctorate in art history with honors from the University of Chicago. A specialist on Renaissance and Baroque art, Chacón continues to teach, lecture, and publish on a range of topics in art history and criticism.
Last summer, Chacón won the top prize in vexillology (flag and heraldry studies), at the 28th International Congress of Vexillology in San Antonio. But he is best known for his research on American architectural history, historic preservation, and Montana history, including the work of Missoula’s own A.J. Gibson, the designer of many of Missoula’s most iconic buildings, including the county courthouse and the Carnegie Public Library that now houses the Missoula Art Museum.
Chacon will also discuss the new home planned for the Montana Museum of Art and Culture, at the intersection of University and Arthur avenues, adjacent to the UM campus, to be made possible by a recent $5 million gift from the Terry and Patt Payne Family of Missoula.
All this and live Christmas music, too!