News & Events
Prisoners Under the Rising Sun
June 15th, 2018 9:00am
This special exhibit features a look at the life of a POW through the material in the museum’s collection and several pieces of artwork by Ben Steele borrowed from the Montana Museum of Art and Culture at the University of Montana.
Benjamin C. Steele (1917-2016)
Steele was born in Roundup, Montana. Stationed in the Philippines at the onset of World War II, he participated in the first major land battle on the Bataan Peninsula. Japan launched a devastating attack, and the battle ended with the surrender of more than 76,000 men under American command. The Japanese Army forced the prisoners on the infamous Bataan Death March, and many - sick, starving and forced to march under a tropical sun - perished. Steele suffered an ordeal of unparalleled cruelty. He began documenting his experience. The dozens of drawings he created were smuggled out of the camps, but unfortunately were lost, with the exception of two, when the ship carrying them was bombed. He ultimately spent 1244 days as a prisoner of war during WWII.
During his year-long recuperation in a Spokane hospital after the war, Steele recreated the lost drawings. Following his recovery, he pursued a degree at the Cleveland Institute of Art from 1947 to 1950. In 1950, Steele received teaching credentials from Kent State University and subsequently earned an MA in art from the University of Denver. Steele returned to Montana in 1959 to teach art at Eastern Montana College, Billings, where he was a professor until 1982. BR
This exhibit is free to the public and does not require a museum ticket.
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- Past Events
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
MUSEUM’S ORAL HISTORY COLLECTION FEATURED IN NEW SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL SERIES
The collection, which contains close to 5,000 interviews, was used extensively in the groundbreaking new eight-part mini-series The Pacific War in Color from the Smithsonian Channel
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
TBF Pilot Honored at Film Premiere
John Mollison, aviation artist, and producer of the award-winning documentary South Dakota Warrior presented Boerne, Texas veteran, Ben Phillips, Jr., with a custom drawing of the TBF-1C “Avenger” he flew during WWII.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Museum launches ‘Real-time’ Twitter Experience for Pearl Harbor
In 1941, on the most infamous day in the modern era, news of a shocking event that altered the course of human history took the span of several hours (even days) to spread through the civilized world. But,.. what if our present 24-hour news technology had existed then?