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Offering to the Sun Gods / Charles Marion Russell

Gallery Label

Offering to the Sun Gods was created by Charles Russell in 1904 of wax, wood, metal, leather, cloth and paint but was never cast in bronze during his lifetime. His widow, Nancy Russell, intentionally never cast this because her husband had not authorized her to put it in bronze. After her death in 1940, Howard Britzman acquired from the estate many models that had never before been cast in bronze and took them to the Nelli Art Bronze Works, Los Angeles, operated by Guido Nelli. Britzman intentionally obscured the origin of the new casts and worked to confuse the record of verifiable lifetime Russell bronzes in order to profit from his venture. Although this is not a fake exactly, and Britzman held the copyright, it cannot be considered a legitimate part of Charles Russell’s artistic output.

From the exhibition:Frontier to Foundry: the Making of Small Bronze Sculpture in the Gilcrease Collection, December 2014 - March 2015.
Ann Boulton Young, Associate Conservator for the Gil

Curatorial Remarks

This sculpture was never cast in bronze by Charles or Nancy Russell. This is an unauthorized bronze cast. The bottom is full of plaster.

Information given by Ann Boulton Young, Associate Conservator for the Gilcrease Museum, 2018

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Title(s): 
Offering to the Sun Gods
Creator(s): 
Charles Marion Russell;
Nelli Art Bronze Works
Culture: 
American
Date: 
modeled 1904; lost-wax cast 1941
Materials/Techniques: 
lost-wax cast in bronze
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Dr. Philip Cole Collection - Gift of the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation
Accession No: 
0837.16
Previous Number(s): 
30915
Department: 
Signed with colophon, "C.M. Russell" [Trademark buffalo skull]; Marked, "1©H.E. Britzman"; Marked, "Nelli.Art.BRONZE.WORKS.L.A.".
Not On View

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