Charles Marion Russell (1864–1926) masterfully captured the art and soul of the American West through 4,000+ recorded works featuring oil paintings, watercolor, sculpture, and writing. Russell achieved this by establishing an inspired visual record celebrating Indigenous culture, Western narratives, grand landscapes, and majestic wildlife scenes. While his art is considered historic, his spirit is timeless.
Though Charlie was an internationally acclaimed “original cowboy artist,” he humbly valued friendship more than fame. His infectious humor, gifted storytelling, advocacy, and illustrated “paper talk” letters continue to elevate a treasured legacy. Charlie inspired loyalty from a diverse inner circle that included family, Great Falls neighbors, contemporary artists, North Plains tribal members, and fellow luminaries such as John Ford and Will Rogers.
The C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Mont., holds one of the largest Russell collections. The Western art complex includes Charlie’s fully-restored home and studio, a National Historic Landmark, where he lived and created for 24 years alongside wife and business partner Nancy Cooper Russell.