New Mexico Art Tells its History

Last of the Herd - Russell

Last of the Herd, 1898
Charles Russell (American, 1864 - 1926)
ink on paper, 11 x 21 in. (27.9 x 53.3 cm)
Gift of John A. and Margaret Hill in memory of Maurice N. Mikesell, 1975

Charles Marion Russell, born in St. Louis, dreamed of being a cowboy, and came to the Judith Basin of Montana in 1880 a few days after his 16th birthday. His work tending sheep, as a hunter, and a night wrangler provided the time to observe cowboys at work and to sketch and document all the activities and excitement of the cow camp. He continued to work as a cowboy and wrangler for eleven years before retiring to become a full-time artist. Russell greatly admired the American Indians, and his experience living with various tribes affected him for the rest of his life, seen in the many detailed works he created of Plains Indians. The narrative subject matter, unique style, and dynamic action of his paintings, and his ability to accurately depict specific times or events in western history made Russell one of the masters of western art.

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