Charles M. Russell (1864–1926)
A Touch of Western Highlife, 1907
Ink and transparent and opaque watercolor over graphite underdrawing on paper
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Collection
Russell’s tongue-in-cheek title in this humorous watercolor was meant to elicit a chuckle from those like him who viewed the West as superior to the high-falutin’ East. Watercolors like this were made into humorous prints and postcards that found a wide audience at the time. During his first visit to New York City in 1903-4, he depicted himself in letters home to his friends as an awkward bumpkin in an ill-fitting tuxedo, and his view of the city as a place best to be avoided never changed as long as he lived.