Amon Carter print details

The Buffalo Hunt [No. 39]

Charles M. Russell (1864-1926)

Object Details

  • Date


  • Object Type


  • Medium

    Oil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    30 1/8 x 48 1/8 in.

  • Inscriptions


    signed l.l.: C M Russell [skull] \ ©

    dated l.c.: 1919

  • Collection Name

    Amon G. Carter Collection

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Collection

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Public domain

Object Description

In the fall and spring of 1908 and 1909, Russell participated in a rare event: a roundup of several hundred bison on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northern Montana. A local rancher had sold the herd—one of the last remaining in the United States—to the Canadian government, a sale tied to federal efforts to break up the reservation through land allotments.

Russell was too young to have seen the vast herds that had once roamed the Great Plains, and he considered the roundup his last chance to see something that resembled the historic bison hunts of the early 19th century. He spent several weeks at the Flathead reservation, observing efforts to corral the animals and occasionally joining in on the action himself. His wife, Nancy, later credited the Flathead bison herd with inspiring many of Russell’s nostalgic reimaginings of Native American hunts, including this painting.

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)

Educator Resources
  • What tools do artists use to convey a sense of movement and tension?

    What could be the impact of a portrayal of an ethnic or racial group by an artist from outside of that group?

    What elements contribute to a sensitive portrayal of a person or group of people?

    How have artists addressed the evolving role of hunting in the culture of the United States?

  • Grades 4–8

    Activity 1
    Today, books are made into movies, video games, and graphic novels. They all depict the same story, but in a different medium. Challenge students to translate this painted buffalo hunt into a new medium, a video game. Their game should include activities as characters prepare for the hunt and use the buffalo as a resource after a successful hunt. Students should consider their points system. Does it emphasize the individual or the team? Does it focus on cooperation or competition?

    Activity 2
    In this painting, Russell depicts a single moment of tension and action during a hunt. However, he implies a narrative through the details he includes. Students will extend this moment into a narrative by taking on the perspective of one character and discuss the preparations for the hunt and the activities following a successful hunt.

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