The Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings has added 45 works of Western art to its permanent collection following the death of Joseph S. Sample, who amassed an impressive collection of artwork by some of the region’s most legendary painters.
Yellowstone Art Museum staff members Laura Krapacher, left, and Carter West catalogue “Four Native Americans,” no date, by Keven Red Star, one of 45 works donated to the Yellowstone Art Museum by Joseph Sample. Sample, who died in October 2022, left the museum an immense collection of Western art upon his death.
The works were collected by Sample beginning in the 1950s and obtained by YAM in June, adding to the Sample family’s legacy of gifts to the museum. Beginning in 1985, Miriam Sample, who was married to Joseph, purchased and donated more than 200 works of art by contemporary and Montana artists to the YAM. In total, Miriam donated more than 400 pieces of artwork to a dozen regional museums. Miriam died in June 2008 at the age of 88, and Joe died in October 2022 at age