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New Exhibition at the Bair Museum is High Flyer Kites by Bozeman Artist Showcased

Monday Jun. 5th, 2017

The Bair Museum in Martinsdale is displaying a selection of paintings up in the air starting May 26, 2017. Above and Beyond- Paintings as Kites showcases selected works by Bozeman painter (and MSU Art Professor Emeritus) Harold Schlotzhauer influenced by the history of Japanese kites and time the artist has spent in Japan with his family. Japan’s kites are among the most spectacular in the world, treasured as much for their aesthetics as for the pleasure they give as toys.

The history of kites is long and multi-cultural. The exact date and origin of the kite is not known but it is believed   they were flown in China more than two thousand years ago. Kites were first introduced into Japanese culture by Buddhist missionaries who travelled from China in the Nara Period, 649-794 AD, and they were used in Japan at that time in various ceremonies. In some of the earliest written histories kites were used in military operations, in fishing, and in scientific research in addition to being flown for recreation and in intensely competitive kite-combat between villages. Kites pre-date the first lighter-than-air balloon (1783) and the first powered aircraft (1903).

Schlotzhauer’s kite paintings are presented in a variety of shapes and sizes including some traditional shapes and some invented, but like most kites his original imagery is bold and colorful. Their brilliant patterns, bold motifs, and electric, linear energy are reminiscent of Japan’s spectacular Edo period kites, still considered today to be some of the most beautiful kites ever created.

To see Scholtzhauer’s kites this summer enter the Bair Museum and look up!

The Bair Museum, located in Martinsdale, is open 10am to 5pm seven days a week through Labor Day, Labor Day through October – Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

The museum is located at 2751 Montana Hwy 294 in Martinsdale, Montana, between White Sulphur Springs and Harlowton. For more information visit

Harold Schlotzhauer, Pipe Dream, 1997, Acrylic on Tyvek