The Quest
A Montanan's Photographic Journey

by Richard S. Buswell

foreword by Matt Hamon

published by Montana Historical Society Press & The University of Montana Press

  • "The Quest: A Montanan's Photographic Journey" features the photographs of Dr. Richard S. Buswell, who has been exploring Montana's ghost towns and abandoned homesteads with his camera in tow since 1971. In "The Quest," Buswell has created images of some of Montana's most haunting relics of the settler period. Ghost towns can have an eerie allure and a certain architectural charm, but Buswell's technique captures more than decrepit buildings and historic decay. As photographer Matt Hamon explains in the foreword: "Buswell's photography captures everyday objects in such extreme ways that they take on new and mysterious characteristics. Buswell demonstrates that a photographer of great vision and virtuosity can transform the simplest objects into evocative works of art through composition, grain, tone, and light." Buswell's work is held in over two hundred museum collections, both in the United States and abroad, and has been the focus of six books and numerous exhibits worldwide.

    Recently, the Montana Historical Society acquired Buswell's complete oeuvre as part of its permanent collections. In celebration of his work, the Montana Historical Society Press and the University of Montana Press have partnered to publish this stunning book.

94 pages, 8.75 x 10 inches

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13: 9780917298868






The Quest
A Montanan's Photographic Journey

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Richard S. Buswell was born and raised in Helena, Montana, where he honed his love of the natural beauty of the American West and his deep regard for the history of the state. Following extensive medical training in the 1970s, Dr. Buswell returned to Helena and set up his allergy and immunology practice. Already, visions of abandoned mines and ghost towns, as well as the deteruirating objects that evoked a disappearing world, were forming in his mind. A self-taught artist with a keen eye for composition, he build a darkroom in his new home and began to create black-and-white images of the rediscovered objects and places that he encountered on his forays into the mountains and across the plains of Montana.

More than fifty years later, his vision, style, and meticulous handcrafting of prints, as well as his tender feelings toward his subject matter, have carried him to both national and international recognition in the world of photography. His work has been collected by 234 museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Seattle Art Museum. His entire collection resides in both the Montana Historical Society archives and the Beinecke Library at Yale University. "The Quest" is his seventh publication.

He continues to reside in Helena with his wife. His family includes three children, two grandchildren, and a noisy beagle.

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