Ernst Peterson “Photograph Montana” Contest & Exhibit

25th Annual Ernst Peterson Contest



2018 Date To Be Announced

The Ravalli County Museum is the repository for Ernst Peterson’s photograph collection and archives. We house an astounding 22,000 prints, slides, negatives and positives of his work.  We honor this privilege each year with the Ernst Peterson Photograph Montana Contest, which began as a way to raise funds to preserve and digitize this important historical collection.

Download the “Photograph Montana” contest application

This contest is open for people of all ages and levels of expertise.  So, grab your camera & “take a shot!”   This year’s contest also includes a “Beyond Montana” category for photos taken outside of Montana.  This year, we are excited to include a $50.00 gift certificate to Bouilla for the winner of the People’s Choice award and a $50.00 gift certificate to Hamilton’s Marketplace for the Best in Show winner!

Contestants who are under 18 years of age pay $3.00 per entry and contestants over 18 years of age pay $5.00 per entry.  Amount of entries is unlimited.  See below for information on the special Peterson exhibit, plus the 3 new ways to join online (it’s FREE), which opens, along with the Peterson contest opening reception, on February 9th, 2017.

Selfie, Photo Bomb & Meme


Check out the 3 NEW ways to join- ONLINE! Its FREE to enter through Selfies, Photo Bombs and Memes! Download the application for more details!

Have FUN with this new entry by submitting your photos online, post a Selfie, Photo Bomb or Meme to our Facebook page (Ravalli County Museum) with the hash tags #petersoncontest and #ravallimuseum. All images that are submitted must be your own work!! (Meme text does not have to be your own words, but the photo MUST be your work) Whoever gets the most likes wins a $50.00 gift card to Bitterroot Beanery – Thats A LOT of delicious coffee!

About Ernst Peterson

ERNST PETERSON 1912 – 1991

Renowned photographer and Montana native son Ernst Peterson was a photographer with a far-reaching reputation. He has been featured in National Geographic, Field and Stream, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Colliers, The Saturday Evening Post, and Country Gentlemen. Major calendar companies sought his work, and corporations like Anaconda Company, Dow Chemical, and Montana Power Company used his photos for advertisements and year-end reports.

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The mission of the Ravalli County Museum & Historical Society is to acquire, preserve, protect and interpret the historical and cultural heritage of the Bitter Root Valley and its people.