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Associated Press Collection worth $15 million

HELENA - The widow of the late Browning artist Bob Scriver has donated his personal collection, comprised of some 800 bronzes and other works appraised at $15 million, to the Montana Historical Society.

The society said Wednesday the collection was one of the largest and most valuable it has received. It will be managed through a consortium of the society, the Provincial Museum of Alberta and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Missoula.

In a statement, Lorraine Scriver said the cross-border arrangement reflected her husband's love for both Montana and Alberta.

"It is almost unimaginable that one person's efforts could result in a legacy such as that of my late husband's," she said. "To have it now permanently preserved and honored in Montana is something Bob and I have always wanted. To have it shared with Alberta is almost too much to ask."

The Scriver collection, which has been displayed in his museum in Browning for many years, includes artwork, taxidermy, historic diorama scenes, carvings and photographs, plus the bronze sculptures.

Historical Society board member Bob Morgan said upward of 100 taxidermy specimens of native Montana wildlife and the dioramas Scriver used to display them will go to the elk foundation on long-term loan.

The Alberta museum will exhibit pieces from Scriver's "No More Buffalo" series of sculptures on the Blackfeet Indians, an exhibit that would dovetail with Blackfeet artifacts Scriver sold the museum in 1990.

Some of Scriver's sculptures will be exhibited in the Historical Society's Helena museum for now, until a new building is in place for a bigger display, Morgan said. He said the society assumed possession of the collections last Friday.

Scriver died on Jan. 19, 1999.

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