Gordon McConnell

Anna Paige

Donna Forbes and Gordon McConnell have an artful friendship. The two worked together at the Yellowstone Art Museum in the 1980s (then known as the Yellowstone Art Center) and played a major role in growing the facility into Montana’s largest contemporary art museum. Both played a major role in acquisitions of contemporary and modern art from Montana and identifying significant artists working at the time.


Billings artist Gordon McConnell taps into the movies of Hollywood’s Golden age as inspiration for his paintings and multi-media pieces.

He also uses some iconic Western images in his artwork, like stagecoaches and bison.

“I love those animals, and I love going through the Lamar Valley. I’ve had experiences being out on those roads even at night and driving into a bison herd on the road and listening to their stomachs rumbling. It’s quite a wonderful experience.”

Anna Paige

For nearly thirty years, Billings-based artist Gordon McConnell has created works derived from Western film stills and informed by his sustained study of the history of the American West and its representations in literature, art, film, and photography.

When the West Was Won: Recent Paintings by Gordon McConnell  is a new exhibition at the Northcutt Steele Gallery, on the campus of Montana State University Billings, which runs from September 5 to October 11.