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Butte Silver Bow Arts Foundation header image. Butte historic buildings.
Butte Silver Bow Arts Foundation
Elizabeth Lochrie – Mike–Walks–On–Top
Mike–Walks–On–Top, Assiniboine man living in Butte, 1966

Elizabeth Lochrie "Native Pathways" Exhibit


Exhibit duration July 1st – 26th

Elizabeth Lochrie "The Daughter of Montana", Elizabeth (Tangye) Davey Lochrie(1890-1981), better known to the subjects of her paintings as "Netchitaki" ("Woman Alone in her Way") was an adopted member of the Blackfoot Nation.

The Daughter of Montana is today widely recognized as one of the state's leading, twentieth century woman artists. Born and raised in Deer Lodge, Montana, Elizabeth completed an art degree at Pratt Institute in 1911. She then returned to Montana where she settled in Butte to raise a family of three and pursue a lifelong career as an artist.

Elizabeth traveled to Glacier in 1931, and could converse in several Native American dialects.
Elizabeth Lochrie -- Maria-Weasel-Head
Maria Weasel Head, Pecunnie Native American woman, 1968
There, she and her husband met and befriended Gypsy and George Bull Child. George and his wife worked as models for artists visiting the park. George Bull Child was also an artist. For three summers, Elizabeth lived in Glacier and studied portrait painting. She made friends with many of the Blackfeet Indians there, and in 1932, the Blackfoot Nation adopted her, giving her the name, "Netchitaki" which means "Woman Alone in Her Way". Netchitaki is remembered by her more immediate family as artist and honorary member of the Blackfoot Nation. Elizabeth not only painted the Blackfoot people and their vanishing way of life, but like other artists and intellectuals of her time, she studied and immersed herself in their culture. For many years, she returned to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park to paint.

Best known for her portraits of local Native Americans, Elizabeth's work also includes rural and urban Montana landscape paintings, drawings and murals in a variety of media.

During 1924 and 1925, Lochrie painted eighteen children's murals for the Montana State Hospital at Galen. She also created murals for several post office buildings.

Elizabeth Lochrie painting a mural
Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives, PAc 80-61
Elizabeth Lochrie
In 1937 Lochrie won the U.S. Treasury Department's competition for News from the States at the Dillon Post Office, depicting the historic arrival of mail in that community. At Glacier National Park, Lochrie studied under Winold Reiss and then served as artist for the Great Northern Railway from 1937 to 1939.

Elizabeth's greatest contribution to helping the Native Americans was, of course, her paintings themselves. Today they are historically priceless, partly because of the notes she carefully wrote on the backs of them. She made every effort to record the subject's name (in both English and comaki); information about the clothing or accouterments worn; interesting facts about his life; guesses at his approximate age. Similarly, she also documented the E. Lochrie landscapes. On the reverse of canvas or composition board can almost always be found some written observation which throws a bit more light on the fading frontier of her lifetime.

Over the course of a half century, Elizabeth's work has been widely exhibited among New York galleries as well as galleries and public places in Montana. When she died in 1981, Lochrie left a legacy of more than one thousand paintings, murals, and sculptures. She was one of Montana's most outstanding twentieth-century artists.

The Butte Silver Bow Arts Foundation (BSBAF) is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1977 under IRS Code 501(c) 3 status to promote the arts, culture, and heritage.