For the past 47 years Dr. Richard Buswell has been photographing artifacts of the Montana frontier -- specifically objects he discovers in Montana ghost towns and homesteads.
Some of his recent works are featured in a new exhibit, “Close to Home,” opening in the Baucus Gallery at the Holter Museum on Friday.
Buswell’s black and white photos have been collected by 229 museums and are the subject of five beautifully printed books.
Missoula Art Museum Curator Brandon Reintjes wrote of Buswell’s photos, “Individually, his photographs are single moments taken at intervals over a number of years. Collectively, they illustrate a timeless Montana.”
Buswell takes just 15 to 20 images each year. Each is taken with painstaking care with the same Nikkormat 35mm camera he’s used for decades.
He only photographs things he hasn’t seen before and admits this is quite a challenge, since he’s visited thousands of buildings over the years.
His darkroom processing is equally painstaking. His photos are “silver gelatin prints,” -- “a very permanent medium,” he said. “When the buildings are gone and the artifacts are gone” the photos will be all that remains of them.
He gives an artist talk 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15.
All three exhibits are on view through April 12.
-- Marga Lincoln, for the IR