52 Artists – #2: Warren McGee

Pullman cars - drawing

Set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains on the banks of the Yellowstone River, my home town of Livingston, Montana has a rich story to tell. It’s a little town with big character.

Panoramic view of Livingston, Montana

Panoramic view of Livingston, Montana

A story not just about old west characters like Calamity Jane (who drank with the best & worst of her day in the local bars), and Sam Peckinpah (who famously shot holes in his hotel room walls). Livingston has also been shaped by Yellowstone Park. By ranchers, cowboys and rodeo. Notable fishing and fishermen. Artists. And the railroad…

Steam engine with a snowplow by Warren McGee

Warren McGee is a railroad man who celebrated his 100th birthday on September 7, 2014. The whole town was invited to his birthday party. So what makes him an Artist? After meeting him I would say, aside from his famous photo-documentation of train history, it has to be his way of being.

Warren McGee - centenarian, railroad photographer

Warren McGee stands in front of a train engine & poses with his wife, Bernice, and the day’s catch

His 60,000+ photographs shot since the 1930s attest to his love affair with trains. But I can tell you his story embraces people just as strongly as locomotives. Every day when I walk down by the river, I see evidence of his service to this little town’s community. The spring explosion of pink-blossoming apple trees, and bright red-orange berries and fiery fall foliage of mountain ash. Over 30 years ago Warren and his wife led a major grassroots reclamation of the lagoon and watershed at Livingston’s Sacajawea Park, creating wildlife habitat and planting over 300 trees.

draped in pink blossoms

Here is an Artist, not only as a photographer, but as a visionary for his community. Happy Birthday Warren!

Warren McGee greets friends at his 100th birthday party

Warren McGee greets friends at his 100th birthday party

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About the Author

CarlaHey there! I'm Carla Pyle. I love the stories that our furniture tells. For me a picture of my Granddaddy Milton's green upholstered arm chair brings to mind the vivid rhymes & colors of 'The Cat in the Hat' and his soft low voice in the telling. I love too that there is always an element of nature in furniture - the warm-toned curving grain of a walnut leg or the reflection of life in a mid-century chrome piece. The best part of teaching & sharing natural upholstery is that it ties all of these things together. Stories - of individual experience and of the planet - help us build happy & healthy homes.View all posts by Carla →

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