Charles M. Russell: The Cowboy Artist

Known as the Cowboy Artist, Charles M. Russell had an eye for portraying the Old West like few ever could. Russell fell in love with the West at a young age and in 1880 headed to Montana to become a working cowboy when he was just 16. Russell worked on a number of different ranching outfits for several years, all the while painting and sketching as he went along. His time on the range along with a stint living with a Native American tribe gave him intimate knowledge into the life and culture of the Old West and the people who lived in it.

He eventually retired as working cowboy and took up painting full time. Russell may have never garnered the recognition he would eventually receive had it not been for his wife Nancy. After they were married she became his manager and publicist and it was largely through her efforts that made Russell an internationally known western artist, as well as helped him became one of the most profitable artists of the time.

 

For more information on Charles M. Russell, visit the Dickinson Research Center.

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