Steven B. Jackson is the Curator of Art and Photography at Museum of the Rockies. He has been with the museum for 36 years and holds a bachelor degree from Montana State University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Florida. Steve is a native Montanan with a family heritage of cattle ranching and grain farming that extends back to the late 1800s. Growing up in Dearborn country of Montana, his interest in art and history was inspired by his rancher grandfather, who was a self-taught painter, his grandmother, the editor of a community history book, and his mother, a middle school art teacher.
Steve's research and exhibition focus include historic and contemporary art and photography, studio furniture, early Yellowstone National Park photography and history, the preservation and management of art and photograph collections, and digitizing and database design solutions for online access to museum collections. He is also an adjunct professor in the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University where he teaches two courses on the history of photography and a class on contemporary photography theory and criticism.
During his 36 years with the Museum of the Rockies, Steve has curated exhibitions featuring the fine arts, photography, and history. Some major exhibitions include “The Artisan’s Craft: The Fine Art of Woodworking” 2012, “Edward S. Curtis: Artist as Ethnographer” 2008, “A Century of African American Art from the Paul R. Jones Collection” 2006, "Clyde Aspevig: Recent Works” 2004, “The Art of Gary Carter” 2005, "In Western Light: The Paintings of Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran" 2002 and “Ceramics Northwest” 2001.
Since the early 90s, he has worked to establish worldwide electronic access to the museum’s Photo Archive collections through the development of searchable online internet databases. Ongoing digitization projects have resulted in the creation of several significant collection websites including the “Ron V. Nixon Collection” of over 12,000 railroad photographs, the “Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains” database featuring Native American photographs from four Montana libraries and the Museum of the Rockies, and the “Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive Online,” featuring the museum’s extensive collection of historic photographs from the Northern Rockies region.