McKay Art Company: Photos from R.H. McKay

  • Where: Relic Gallery 120 N. Higgins Ave Missoula, MT
  • When: Feb 5th, 2021 at

Rollin H. McKay arrived in Montana from Oregon in 1905. Originally trained as a barber, he learned photography, and was in business as a commercial photographer by 1911. From 1922 to his retirement in 1946, he operated McKay Art Company at 120 N. Higgins, a full-service art studio for photography, enlargements, framing and gifts. McKay was a landmark photographer for Missoula and surrounding areas, including the Flathead Reservation, forging close relationships with the Salish people. His love for his craft is exhibited in thoughtful staging of narrative scenes, sweeping landscapes, and journalistic snapshots of developing Missoula. McKay often used experimental techniques, such as hand drawing on his negatives, or implementing new technologies like panoramas and color photography. Relic Gallery pays homage to McKay Art Company through exhibiting his images, some of which were likely developed and framed onsite between 75 and 90 years ago, through Feb. 27.

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