Missoulian photographer Michael Gallacher recently retired after 31 years of chronicling the lives of Missoulians and beyond.
That would put him starting at the newspaper a couple decades after another fine photographer left, who also recorded our comings and goings for almost 30 years.
Photographer Stan Healy was born and raised in Missoula. He attended Whittier School and Missoula County High School, and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Montana.
He started working at the Missoulian in 1946 as a reporter and photographer, and remained until 1961 when he became a freelance photographer.
His photos document Missoula, mostly in the 1940s through the 1970s. He captured fires and accidents, building construction and demolition, events at the Florence Hotel and the moving of the Greenough Mansion – local news events to go with his stories.
The Montana Museum of Art and Culture has on display in the exhibit “Hometown: Images of Missoula from the MMAC Permanent Collection” a photo by Healy, "Time Clash, Indian Observer."
The image shows a Native American in full traditional garb and headdress, with two white men walking by in the background, glancing over a shoulder at the out-of-context sight. The juxtaposition of the new versus traditional is striking.
I don’t know if the photo belonged to an article or if it was one of Healy’s freelance pieces he just happened to capture, but either way it stands alone with no description.
Healy’s work may be familiar to some as many are on display on the “Halls of History” at the Southgate Mall.
And his name may be familiar as he served on the Missoula City Council for 17 years representing the Northside, where he resided for most of his life. It seems only fitting that a man who was born in Missoula and died in Missoula, in 1996, should so aptly record our history.
"Time Clash, Indian Observer" is part of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture’s permanent collection and can be viewed at the Paxson Gallery on the University of Montana Campus in the PAR/TV Center. MMAC’s exhibit “Hometown: Images of Missoula from the MMAC Permanent Collection” runs until Sept. 12.