Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art
Great Falls, MT
There are fewer than two hundred one-room schools in all of the US; Montana is home to approximately sixty of them. Neil Chaput de Saintonge and Keith Graham have traveled to over 20 of these schools to document the teachers, students and places. Their photo-essay depicts the story of the one room school in rural America. Though the collection of photographs depicts various schools in different towns across Montana they share similarities and begin to tell a singular narrative.
This exhibition of 25 photographs, curated from more than 150 images, focuses on the daily activities of class work and the intimate bond between these dedicated teachers and their pupils. Also included are images of the school houses which puts into perspective the geographic isolation and uniquely Montanan landscape.
Neil Chaput de Saintonge founded Rocky Mountain School of Photography with his wife Jeanne in Missoula in 1989. He has been teaching photography for over 40 years. Keith Graham is Associate Professor of photojournalism at The University of Montana’s School of Journalism.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website