Charles M. Russell

Creator Details

Few artists have shaped the popular imagery of the cowboy like Charles M. Russell. Born in St. Louis, Russell worked for a time as a ranch hand in Montana before taking up painting and illustration full time. By the early 1900s, his rough-and-tumble portrayals of Montana ranch life had captured the attention of patrons in Los Angeles and New York, who interpreted his work as an authentic portrayal of a vanishing way of life. Russell was an admirer of western dime novels and films, and he used his talents as a storyteller to help shape pop culture imaginings of the Old West, even working as a consultant in Hollywood. The Carter offers one of the largest museum collections of Russell’s work—more than 300 paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, and illustrations, ranging from his earliest known paintings to posthumous bronze sculptures cast under the supervision of his widow, Nancy Cooper Russell.

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