Collection

Artists

Charles Marion Russell

1864 - 1926
Painter, Illustrator, Sculptor
Origin: United States
Born: March 19, 1864, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: October 24, 1926, Great Falls, Montana

Charles Russell is one of the few artists who experienced American West as well as artistically documented the drama and innocence of the era. As the West was settled, his nostalgia for days gone by was expressed in his depictions of contemporary life on the range. As a self-taught artist, Russell began drawing and sculpting at an early age. A few weeks before his sixteenth birthday, he left St. Louis and moved to Montana where he worked as a cowboy for eleven years. During those years, he sketched and painted the cowboy life and the wilderness he loved. To cover his expenses, Russell sold his paintings for modest prices to saloons and local establishments, whose proprietors were the first Russell collectors. His first commissioned mural was painted for a saloon in Utica, Montana, and was executed with house paints on a pine board. In 1896, Russell married Nancy Cooper, who made a lucrative impact on his artistic career as his business manager. She convinced him to raise prices and paint full-time. By 1911, his paintings were selling in the East for what Russell referred to as "dead men's prices," high figures normally achieved after an artist’s death. After 1919, the Russells spent their winters in Pasadena, California. In Hollywood, they befriended western art enthusiasts, many of whom became Russell's patrons. In October 1926, Charles Russell died in Great Falls, Montana.

Featured Artwork
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Asian Elephant
c. 1960, Bronze
Charles Marion Russell
United States, 1864 - 1926
Thanksgiving Letter to Ralph Budd
1925, Ink and Watercolor on Paper
Charles Marion Russell
United States, 1864 - 1926
The Bluffers
1924, Bronze
Charles Marion Russell
United States, 1864 - 1926
To The Victor Belongs The Spoils
1901, Oil on Canvas
Charles Marion Russell
United States, 1864 - 1926
Where Danger Lurks
1894, Watercolor on Paper
Charles Marion Russell
United States, 1864 - 1926