Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Vivian A. Paladin (1918-2002)

(We were sorry to learn of the passing of Vivian Paladin,
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting with this
fine lady and she will be missed. glt)

Vivian A. Paladin was born to Hans G. and Clara Marie Haugen Hilden in Glasgow, Mont., on Aug. 4, 1918, the second of six daughters, Vivian spent most of her childhood in Glasgow, graduating from Glasgow High School in 1935. While still in high school, Vivian took a work study job setting type for the "Glasgow Times." After attending the University of Montana School of Journalism in 1937, she became the first woman typesetter to work on the "Kaimin," the student newspaper.

Vivian left the university for a job at the "Cut Bank Pioneer Press," where she quickly moved into the editorial department, fulfilling her goal of becoming a working journalist. A tremendously talented woman and a self-described "workhorse," Vivian honed her editorial skills on several newspapers along the Hi-Line, including stints in Conrad, Shelby and Havre. It was in Shelby in 1941 that Vivian met Jack Paladin, then an immigration border patrol inspector. The two married in 1946 after Jack returned from the South Pacific, where he fought with the Marines during World War II.

After her marriage, Vivian continued to work on various newspapers as a typesetter and a reporter. She and Jack moved to Helena in 1956, where he continued to work for the Immigration Service, and in 1958, Vivian joined the staff of the Montana Historical Society as associate editor of the "Montana The Magazine of Western History." She became the magazine's editor in 1966 and served in that position until 1978, when she retired in order to spend more time with Jack, whose health had begun to fail. Vivian and Jack shared several good years before his death in 1987. Together they enjoyed boating and fishing at the Gates of the Mountains and spending time with their grandchildren.

Vivian was largely responsible for the popularity of the Montana Historical Society's magazine, "Montana The Magazine of Western History." During her tenure as editor, the magazine's circulation grew from 6,000 to 12,000 subscribers and set the standard for other historical society journals across the country. Upon her retirement, Montana historian K. Ross Toole listed the ingredients of Vivian's success: a "critical editorial eye ... a distaste for pomposity; ... an enormous capacity for hard work; ... infinite patience."

The significance of her work was widely recognized, as numerous awards from the National Press Woman's Association, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the American Association for State and Local History, and other organizations attest. She was active in several professional organizations, including the Montana Press Woman's Association and the Western History Association. In 1969 she became the first woman and the first Montanan to be elected to the Western History Association's governing council.

Vivian A. Paladin died on May 21, 2002, in Fort Worth, Texas after a nine month struggle with cancer.

View high resolution images of works by Vivian A. Paladin when available.