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Lewis and Clark Discovery: Works by Frank Hagel


The Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana is pleased to announce the opening of Lewis and Clark Discovery: Works by Frank Hagel, which will be on display from March 25 through May 1, 2004. An opening reception will be held Thursday, March 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. (right: Photo of artist Frank Hagel)

Artist Frank Hagel has devoted his artistic career to historical subjects for years. Hagel has produced an outstanding body of work that depicts the Lewis and Clark - Corps of Discovery. This exhibit will be a wonderful visual education of the Corps of Discovery. Unlike so many other early explorers, Lewis and Clark did not have a staff artist travel with them during the four years of their journey west. Today, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery, many artists are working to accurately depict the journey in visual art and pass this legacy on. There are 15 paintings in the exhibit ranging in size from 7 x 12 inches to 24 x 48 inches.

Frank Hagel was born and raised in the Flathead Valley of western Montana. His early years were spent at some typical Montana occupations including ranching, logging and construction. After a four-year hitch in the U.S. Navy, he graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 1959. From 1959 through 1971 he was top staff illustrator at three Detroit art studios and produced illustrations for all major Detroit ad agencies and the big three auto manufacturers. Frank's illustrations appeared in many books and company publications as well as numerous national camping and outdoor magazines. Twice he received silver medals in the Detroit Society of Art Directors Annual Shows.right: Frank Hagel, The Red Pirogue, oil, Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Ray Thompson)

Frank returned to his native Montana in 1971 and immediately began designing and sculpting 36 different bronze and silver national park centennial medallions for the U.S. Department of Interior. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Frank also worked as a hunting guide and horse wrangler in northwest Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. These experiences and observations gave him a solid, authentic base for his western and wildlife paintings and sculptures.

Since 1972, Frank has painted the western scene including historical Indians, trappers and mountain men, early explorers, ranchers, cowboys, and wildlife. His paintings are included in private and corporate collections across the country and around the world.

Today, Frank lives in a log cabin studio on the banks of northwestern Montana's Flathead River and often succumbs to pursuing trout on his favorite mountain streams, poking a load or two at game birds, or coaxing a golf ball around a course near Glacier National Park. right: Frank Hagel,, Portage, oil, Hockaday Museum of Art Permanent Collection, 2003 Purchase Award)

The Hockaday Museum would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Ray Thompson and Semitool Inc. for their help and support in bringing this fine exhibit to the Hockaday Museum.


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