Yellowstone Art Museum

Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Billings, Montana's Trailhead.



The Yellowstone Art Museum (YAM) was founded in 1964 in the former Yellowstone County Jail building and is the first museum in Montana to move beyond Wild West nostalgia and focus on progressive contemporary artists. From a small staff of one and a budget of just a few thousand, today the YAM operates with 18 FTEs and a $1.8 million annual budget.

The YAM is a nationally recognized accredited museum through the American Alliance of Museums–one of only 2% of museums in the country to share this honor–and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, having offered over 600 exhibitions over 50 years. The YAM serves about 45,000 people on and off-site every year. The YAM now has over 50,000 square feet of space in two buildings in downtown Billings. The secondary building known as the Visible Vault is the first facility of its kind in the region, where the art storage vault and behind-the-scenes functions may be viewed by the public. Both of these beautiful buildings are also available to rent if you're planning a convention, meeting, wedding reception, or a gathering with friends.

The permanent collection numbers about 7,500 objects, including the Montana Collection, the largest collection in the world relating to author-illustrator Will James, and the Poindexter Collection of New York Abstract Expressionism. Notable Montana-affiliated artists represented in the collection include Anne Appleby, Rudy Autio, John Buck, Deborah Butterfield, Russell Chatham, three members of the De Weese family, Edith Freeman, Will James, Isabelle Johnson, Tracy Linder, Richard Notkin, Kevin Red Star, C. M. Russell, Joseph Henry Sharp, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Harold Schlotzhauer, Bently Spang, Bill Stockton, Peter Voulkos, Theodore Waddell, Patrick Zentz, and many others. Selections from the permanent collection are always on view in Boundless Visions, the only exhibition in the state that tells the story of art’s growth in Montana.

The YAM hosts a contemporary art auction and a summer arts and crafts fair each year. In 1995, the YAM received the Montana Governor’s Award for Service to the Arts and continues to provide curriculum-based art education onsite and through outreach programs within and beyond Yellowstone County, including a longstanding active program on the Crow reservation.

The YAM is open year-round, six days a week. It is closed on Mondays and selected national holidays. Eight to ten new temporary exhibitions open each year. The YAM offers two dozen special adult programs throughout the year, and both school-based and family-oriented children’s programs. The YAM continues to retain its place as the leading contemporary art museum in the state of Montana.

Mailing Address

401 North 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101

Street Address

401 North 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101


Fax: 406-256-6817


All Year


Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm Thursday: 10:00am - 8:00pm Closed Monday. Open Mondays Memorial Day - Labor Day: 10:00am - 5:00pm

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