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Friday, August 1, 2008

Western Artist Charles Russell - Art Auction Brings in Millions

Charles Russell (1864-1926) was born in Missouri but found his way to Great Falls, Montana, which he adopted as his home and lived in for over 46 years. One of the greatest artists and sculptures of the American west, had humble beginnings working on a sheep ranch at the age of 16. His interest in the west, history and the outdoors along with his awareness of his environment gave him the ability to capture western landscapes, cowboys, and Indians in perfectly flowing colors, lines and exquisite detail.

Russell produced over 2000 works in his lifetime featuring his favorite subjects including paintings and sculptures. In 1926, Trails Plowed Under, a collection of his short stories were also published. Recently two of his artworks brought in more than $9 million at auction. The holdup, a painting by Charles Russell, showing a stagecoach being held up, sold for $5.2 million at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction in Reno, Nevada. A bronze, Meat for Wild Men, depicting Native Americans on a buffalo hunt brought in more than $4.1 million.

The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, 1,100,000 acres in north central Montana were named after this artist and includes native prairies, river bottoms and badlands. In addition, a lot of his artwork is on display at the C.M. Russell Museum, “A place where the old west is still alive.” The museum is located in Great Falls, Montana.

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