Monday, March 17, 2014

Elizabeth Lochrie

The U.S. Treasury Department, the State of Montana, the Ford Motor Company, New York Life Insurance Company, and the First National Bank of Seattle were among the distinguished patrons of Deer Lodge native Elizabeth Lochrie. Formally trained as an artist at the Pratt Institute in New York City, she graduated in 1911 and settled in Butte. From the 1920s to the 1950s, Lochrie established herself as a fine portrait artist. She also painted local rural and urban landscapes and scenes. 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.

Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives, PAc 80-61
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. While other artists documented the vanishing Indian lifeway, Lochrie did more than that. She immersed herself in Indian culture and learned to converse in various dialects. She traveled the lecture circuit and often used her fees to buy clothing and other items for needy tribal members, especially Blackfeet. In 1932, the Blackfeet Nation adopted her and named her Netchitaki, Woman Alone in Her Way. 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.

P.S. Have you seen the Women's History Project?


  1. I had never heard of her before. What a wonderful legacy she left.

  2. I agree - what an inspiration!

  3. Thank you Ellen for all your work on this. :) Sonja