Robert F. Morgan is a native Montanan representing the fourth generation of his family in Montana. His maternal grandfather came to the Montana Territory in the summer of 1863 in search of gold and stayed to raise his family and establish the first irrigated ranch in the young Territory. This background is the catalyist for the artist and his chosen field.
Bob was born in 1929 and lived in the Stansfield Lake area of the Helena valley."I've always fooled around with painting or some art form," Morgan says. When Bob was only 13 years old he got a job at Fligelman's Department Store in Helena in the advertising/display department. It was at Fligelman's that Morgan received his first instruction in design, color and lettering. However, pursuing an art career in those days may not have been considered by many as a serious career goal because images of the depression were still lingering. In high school, Morgan continued to refine his talents with his natural aptitude, a keen eye to what he viewed and the influence of his commercial art teacher, Freddy Robinson.
Early in 1952, Morgan was hired as an exhibits designer with the then newly housed Montana Historical Society. With nothing more than a high school education and a stint in the Montana National Guard, Bob spent 15 years, off and on, as curator of the Montana Historical Society where he designed exhibits and was in charge of art collections and all matters pertaining to the Society's art functions. In the mid 1970's, Bob left the Historical Society to pursue a career on his own.
Today, Bob and his wife of 52 years, Genevieve, maintain a home/studio near the Elkhorn mountains south of Helena. He remains active in the Northwest Rendezvous Group, which he is a founding member, and annually participates in the C.M. Russell Auction. Morgan is one of only two artists whose work has been selected for every C.M. Russell Auction the past 32 years.
Excerpts taken from the February 1996 issue of the "Active Montanan Magazine."