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Artifacts of History

Charles Marion Russell - Indian Chief 1912 7.25" x 5"

Charles Marion Russell - Indian Chief 1912 7.25" x 5"

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Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
Indian Chief, 1912
Pen and ink on paper
Paper: 7.25” x 5”

Signed Lower Right with Artist’s Skull Device: C.M. Russell / 1912

An Indigenous American man is depicted in profile, donning a war bonnet and gazing pensively into the distance. While the large headdress is stunning in its form and grandeur, thick lines constructing the face of the man draw the eye to his features. The masterful use of line and shading creates composition which is simple yet intriguing.

Russell created the piece in a saloon in Great Falls, Montana when he ran out of money to pay his bill. The bartender offered to accept a drawing in payment, which he liked so much that he also gave Russell a free lunch.

Drawn in Great Falls, Montana in 1912 in payment of a bar bill. The Bartendd, Franklin Weller, accepted the drawing as payment and it remained in the Weller family until 1992 when his brother, George Weller, sold it.
Private Collection, Canada
Private Collection, Utah.

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