Waiting on a Chinook (Last of the 5,000)

Original: 1886, Watercolor on Paper

During the terrible winter of 1886-1887, Charlie Russell worked as a cowhand in the Judith Basin.  The owners of the cattle outfit were living in Helena but had heard rumors of how rough the winter conditions were for cattle in other parts of Montana.  Curious to see how their cattle were doing, the owners wrote a letter to the foreman.  Instead of the foreman responding with a letter, Russell sketched a starving bull surrounded by wolves.

Moved by how well this small sketch captured the realities of the harsh winter, it was published in newspapers across the country, ultimately launching Russell’s career as an artist.

Dimensions: 16 x 11 inches

Material: Printed on heavy paper