Discovering at the Montana State Capitol Building

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Driving the Golden Spike painting at the Montana State Capitol Building

Is there a secret hidden in Driving the Golden Spike that hangs in the western arch of the rotunda in Montana’s State Capitol Building? According to Rock Ringling, one of our hosts at The Sanders Bed and Breakfast, there are a few missing items in the painting. Rock told us that the painter, Amédéé Joullin was upset about not being paid, so as retribution, he removed a few arms and legs from the scene. Do you see any hints to prove that the story is true? Alan and I think we see at least one missing arm and leg. I tried substantiating the tale but couldn’t find any historical references.

In any event, if you’re in Helena, a visit to the Montana State Capitol Building is a must. The brightly painted interior houses intricate architectural elements and outstanding artistic pieces, including a large painting, Lewis and Clark Meet the Flathead Indians at Ross’ Hole, by noted western artist, Charles M. Russell.

Are there missing elements in Driving the Golden Spike? Did Amédéé Joullin sabotage his own painting? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.

Disclosure: The Helena Tourism Improvement District is providing our travel experience. As always, the opinions are our own.

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