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Subject Guide: Charles Marion Russell

Page history last edited by Roberta 5 years, 11 months ago


Charles M. Russell in his studio, Great Falls,

Montana. He is posed with the painting

Lewis & Clark Meeting Indians at Ross’ Hole”, [1912].

Catalog Number: 944-703


PDF Version




Charles Marion Russell

Charles Marion Russell came to Montana at the age of sixteen and worked as a cowhand throughout the 1880s. By the early 1890s, Russell quit cowboying to devote his full attention to art. He had no formal training— “nature has been my teacher,” he explained. In 1896 he married Nancy Cooper who brought not only stability to the artist’s life but great acumen as a business manager and promoter of Russell’s work. By the time of his death in 1926, Russell’s art, and his colorful personality, had earned him national renown and the admiration of the people of his adopted home state.


Featured Collection


Collection Title Catalog Number Description Link
Presentations from Montana Historical Society on YouTube

Results include records from “Montana’s Charlie Russell: 21st Century Perspectives on the Cowboy Artist” in Helena, Montana, June 18-20, 2015. 


YouTube search results

Charles Marion Russell and Nancy Cooper Russell papers, 1897-1939
 SC 705
Collection includes general correspondence (1918, 1929, 1936) from and to Nancy Russell about the sale of paintings, a memorial statue of C.M. Russell, and memories of his early experiences; a photocopy of a contract (1897) with Western Field and Stream for twenty black and white oil paintings and twenty pen sketches "composing a pictorial history of western life"; and a photocopy of the last will and testament (1939) of Nancy Russell. Catalog Record
James Brownlee Rankin research collection: Charles M. Russell, 1910-1962
 MC 162

James Brownlee Rankin, a New York and California teacher and historian, collected information concerning Montana artist Charles M. Russell in preparation for a Russell biography and an illustrated catalog of his work. The collection consists primarily of correspondence concerning Russell's life and work as remembered by his friends, acquaintances, and art owners. The collection also contains photographs, clippings, and research notes. Finding aid available.  Click on Catalog Record and then follow the link under Electronic Access.

Catalog Record


Explore the topic further

This guide is only an introduction to Charles Russell. To learn more, search our catalog using the search terms below or click the link for the Charles Marion Russell Resource List.



 Russell, Charles M. (Charles Marion), 1864-1926
 Charlie Russell
 Charles Russell paintings  Charles Russell
 Charles Russel sculpture  Western art Charles Russell
 Charles Russell correspondence  Charles Russell papers



Click here for the Charles Marion Russell Resource List




 Montana Historical Society Research Center

 225 North Roberts, P.O. Box 201201, Helena, MT 59620-1201, 406-444-2681, 406-444-2696 (fax).



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