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Anthology of Articles & Browses: the Charles M. Russell Research Collection (Britzman)


Anthology of Articles & Browses: the Charles M. Russell Research Collection (Britzman)

Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926) remains one of the most significant and beloved American artists of the early 20th century. In his lifetime, he completed more than 4,000 paintings and sculptures, many of which have become fundamental cultural icons — essential images of western American life. Russell’s depictions of cowboys, American Indians, historical figures, and western fauna are among the most well-known portrayals of the late 19th and early 20th century western experience. His work has long been considered unique in its approach to complex subjects and is widely recognized for its authenticity and attention to detail. Above all, Charles M. Russell excelled at engaging the viewer with vibrant, exciting, and captivating scenes of western life. Gilcrease Museum is home to a large collection of material created by and about Russell, including 53 Russell paintings and 30 of his sculptures, as well as the Charles M. Russell Research Collection (Britzman), which is an archive of about 12,000 items chronicling the life and work of the famed western artist. 

Explore articles and browse highlights below, or peruse the online Charles M. Russell Research Collection (Britzman).

Charles M. Russell—Icon of the West

At his death on October 24, 1926, artist Charles M. Russell left behind a grieving widow and stepson, a host of loyal friends and more than 4,000 works of art scattered among scores of pals, acquaintances and collectors. Included in his oeuvre were more than 500 oil paintings, nearly three times as many watercolors, over 1,300 pen and ink and pencil drawings of consequence, several hundred illustrated letters, and close to 500 sculptural models, only a fraction of which had ever been cast into bronze...

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Legacy of CM Russell

“Nature taught her child to read, to write and spell, and with her books before him he reads his lesson well.” —CMR

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Charles M. Russell: American Humorist Extraordinaire

Charles M. Russell’s life coincides with a particularly evocative period in the evolution of American humor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the life and works of better known American humorists of the time (e.g., Bret Hart, Artemus Ward and Mark Twain), there is a characteristic emphasis on “how” the story is told which is as important as the story itself. The humorist is indistinguishable from his humor. Charlie Russell, with his multiplicity of skills as an artist, writer and raconteur, embodies American humor in a way that is distinct because he does it across so many different media.

Watch Holly Witchey, Ph. D. talk about Russell as a humorist

Browse: the Art and Archive Collections of Charles M. Russell at Gilcrease Museum

Browse: Photographs from the Russell Research Collection

Browse: Three-dimensional studies from the Russell Research Collection

Browse: Drawings from the Russell Research Collection

The Russell Research Collection

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Will Rogers and Charlie Russell

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A Closer Look at Charles M. Russell

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Charles Marion Russell

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