JERRY GOROSKI is the consultant appraisar to whom I refer inquiries about Scriver bronzes. He is formally trained and certified to do assessments and knew Bob Scriver as well as working for the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls. His gallery is called "Open Range Art."


Sunday, October 12, 2008


FRANCIS PAUL MASA (From the Great Falls Tribune)

KALISPELL -- Korean War veteran Francis Paul Masa, 80, of Kalispell, known as “Paul Masa,” a Western art dealer, died of natural causes Friday at his home in Kalispell.

Francis Paul Masa passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, October 10, 2008, surrounded by his family. Paul was born April 22, 1928, in Baker, MT, the son of Frank and Elisabeth (Sonsalla) Masa. He has two younger brothers, John and Tom Masa. Paul grew up during the Great Depression on a family farm near Marmath, N.D. and attended local schools.

Paul said, “My dad was a hard worker. I learned to work. He gave me the best education I ever got, hard work.” In his pursuit of “chasing the dollar,” he worked various positions in his life. He was a determined, strong-willed, loving man. He was a generous benefactor to many local groups and charitable causes. Paul’s work ethic carried him through life until his final days.

As a young man, he worked at the family farm and ranch. He also worked for neighbors driving tractors. Finally, at age 19, he drove his first car. Paul then worked various jobs, including on the railroad, until he was drafted to the United States Army in 1950, from Marmarth, N.D. He served in the Korean War as a mortar gunner. While in Korea, he was awarded the Bronze Star medal for unhesitant devotion to duty, tireless efforts and aggressive initiative. He contributed immeasurably to the successful accomplishment of his unit’s missions and reflects great credit on himself and the United States infantry. Paul willingly worked excessively long and arduous hours without proper food or rest under enemy fire to lend support to the infantry units in the field and to help accomplish the many other missions.

Upon his discharge he worked jobs in farming and construction. He then went to work for Montana Dakota Utility as the plant manager, and worked an additional part-time job as a bartender in Baker. There he met his wfie, Doris, at a New Year’s Dance. Paul and Doris were married in Baker on December 13, 1958. Paul and Doris leased a bar in Baker for four years.

After vacationing in the Kalispell area, Paul and Doris decided to make Kalispell, MT., their home, purchasing the Log Cabin Bar. Paul began to sell art on the side. Paul and Doris ran a successful business for more than 19 years in Kalispell. Paul then pursued his side business as a Western art dealer, full time.

Paul and Doris bought, sold and traded art and bronzes from 1953 until his death. This was Paul’s business, but also his passion. He loved every minute of wheeling and dealing when selling art with his friends and colleagues. His upbringing and belief in work kept him an active businessman. He attended more than 40 auctions in Great Falls, MT. Paul was well-known and leaves many dear family, friends and business associates behind.

Paul received many awards. In 2004 he was the winner of the “Bob Scriver Bronze Award” for his outstanding contributions to the C.M. Russell Auction and the field of Western art. In 2007 he was awarded “The Mentor Award” recognizing him as one of the most knowledgeable and informed art dealers operating in the Western United States. In this capacity he has seen fit to share his art and business expertise with others in the field.

Paul and Doris enjoyed many fishing trips together as avid fishers, including trips to Alaska for salmon. Paul greatly enjoyed spending time with his family. He hosted an annual Fourth of July party at the lake and was the grillmaster, if you like a rare burger.

Paul is survived by his wife of 50 years, Doris Masa; his children, grandchildren, and two brothers.

Comment by me would be tasteless at this time, but I’ll point out that Bob Scriver had nothing to do with choosing the recipient of the Scriver Bronze Skull -- in fact, had been dead for five years at the time it was given to Masa by the Ad Club.

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