On the way down Highway 1 in Montana, there are some odd signs for a place that is “usually open.” They’re for the Ohrmann Museum, a yard filled with large metal sculptures.
The yard is filled with animals and insects, both contemporary and prehistoric, all crafted of metal. You’ll be amazed at the creative artwork on display—one walk around the building isn’t enough. Looking at the details of each work of art makes one happy this is shared with the public.
The Ohrmann Museum and Gallery is a free museum and you are welcome to view, photograph, and even sit on the turtle. It’s the work of Bill Ohrmann, who spent his life as a rancher and an artist. Born in 1919, he was a lifelong Montana resident. Living and working on ranches instilled in him an appreciation for nature and a love of animals. In the 1960s, Ohrmann began entering art shows, largely with wood carvings of animals like elk and antelope. As he devoted more time to his art, Ohrmann dabbled in other mediums, including painting and sculpture.
In 1998, when he was 79 years old, Ohrmann built his first large metal sculpture: a standing grizzly bear made from welded steel plates. He continued building massive creatures, and today the metal menagerie in his yard includes elk, buffalo, eagle, and a wooly mammoth.
Though Bill Ohrmann passed away on November 19, 2014, the museum still stands as a testament to his incredible work. It is operated by his wife Phyllis and their children. Bill Ohrmann’s son John carries on his father’s legacy and continues to create steel sculptures in his father’s shop.
Know Before You Go
Be on the look out after you notice the "usually open" signs.