biografia di Charles Marion RUSSELL (1864-1926)

Birth place: Oak Hill, St. Louis, MO

Death place: Great Falls, MT

Addresses: Great Falls, MT/Lake McDonald, MT; began vacationing in Pasadena, CA in the 1920s

Profession: Painter, sculptor, illustrator, writer

Studied: self-taught.

Exhibited: St. Louis Fair, 1904; PAFA Ann., 1905-06; NYC, 1911 (solo); AIC, 1912; CGA, 1925

Work: Amon Carter Mus. (large coll.), Ft. Worth, TX; Mus. New Mexico; Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley; Whitney Gal., Cody, WY; Nat. Cowboy Hall of Fame; Montana Hist. Soc., Helena; Montana State Capitol ("Lewis and Clark Meeting the Flathead Indians at Ross's Hole"); Trigg-Russell Gal., Great Falls; Gilcrease Inst.; major museums.

Comments: One of America's best-known and popular artists of Western subjects, he was an authentic cowboy, working as a wrangler, 1879-92, and living with the Blood Indians (of the Blackfoot nation) for 6 months in 1888. His first Western illus. for Harper's appeared in 1888, and his work (writings and illustrations) was soon also appearing in McClure's and Leslie's. In 1890 he published a portfolio of 12 paintings Studies of Western Life. Russell paintings tended to be action-filled adventure scenes, sometimes told with whimsy or humor, depicting cowboys or Indians and their animal quarries; rowdy cowboys in camp or out on the town; confrontations between cowboys and Indians; and gunfights between horse thieves and lawmen. Russell began bronze sculpting in 1904, although he had been modeling in clay and wax for years and using the figures as models for his paintings. He first visited NYC in 1903 and returned annually thereafter, holding his first NYC solo show in 1911; he visited Europe in 1914. Russell's work was extremely popular and often reproduced on calendars. A prolific artist he produced over 2,500 works (all media) in his lifetime.

Sources: WW25; Baigell, Dictionary; Goetzman & Goetzman, 258-83; Frederic G. Renner, Charles M. Russell (New York, 1974); Harold McCracken, The Charles M. Russell Book (1957); P&H Samuels, 412; Eldredge, et al., Art in New Mexico, 1900-1945, 206; Falk, Exh. Record Series.

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