Museum celebrates art, wine and history

© 2017-Sublette Examiner

PINEDALE – One of the highlights of the Green River Rendezvous is the reception hosted by the Museum of the Mountain Man, where the crowd shows up wearing everything from buckskins to black hats.

The outdoor reception honors the museum’s (MMM) annual edition of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal and its authors – with this year’s honorees being co-writers Dr. Jim Hardee and Clay Landry. After presenting them with trophies, editor and past director Angie Thomas and current director Clint Gilchrist gave the audience time to peruse the silent and live auction lots and get their brand new journals signed at the authors’ table.

For the first time, the MMM pulled out the stops with its debut 2017 Western Art & Wine Auction, with 21 original artworks and beautifully framed museum-quality prints by such renowned artists as Catlin, Remington, Rungius and Russell.

Artist Tim Tanner also painted “live” at the auction with an almost-completed oil portrait of a fur trapper as the last offering, which sold for $800.

The live auction also featured 14 wine basket lots, all to raise money for the MMM’s educational programs. Guest auctioneer Dave Stephens cajoled and kidded the crowd to loosen up their purse strings, with both auctions raising more than $20,000.

Thomas, whose last day was May 31 with Gilchrist stepping in, returned for Rendezvous to help with the reception and auction and said everyone was “very pleased, thrilled” with the turnout.

“We had no idea what to expect, with it being our first year,” Thomas said.

As Rendezvous continued through the weekend, the MMM hosted many more fur-trade history events with kids’ Native American crafts, Michael “Bad Hand” Terry, beaver-skinning and horse-packing demos, the American Mountain Man camp, Journal authors’ presentations and many more explorations of the era, thanks to the Sublette County Historical Society.