The C. M. Russell Museum
The genius of Charles M. Russell (1864–1926) is nowhere more apparent than at the museum bearing his name. The C.M. Russell Museum holds one of the nation’s largest collections of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and illustrated letters from Russell’s boyhood through the end of his life.
Russell’s artwork portrays the daily life of the range cowboy and the Plains Indian, the monumental landscapes of the Montana wilderness and its sovereign inhabitants—the bison, elk, bear, and wolf—all reflected through the artist’s personal experience during the closing days of the western frontier. Russell’s whimsical side is revealed in tiny, playful figures of gnomes, elves, and caricatures fashioned out of clay, wax, plaster, and bark.
The museum complex includes Russell’s original house and log cabin studio, together designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. With these structures and his personal collections of cowboy gear and Indian artifacts, total immersion in artist’s life and creative process is possible.
In addition to its extensive Russell collections, the museum also features a groundbreaking permanent exhibition on the crucial role of the bison in the cultural life of the Northern Plains between 1800 and the present. The Bison: American Icon, Heart of Plains Indian Culture presents Northern Plains Indian clothing, regalia, tools, and weapons, as well as contemporary interpretations of the bison as a pervasive symbol in American culture.
The C.M. Russell Museum regularly hosts nationally acclaimed visiting temporary exhibitions.
Contact the museum or visit www.cmrussell.org for a current schedule of exhibitions, workshops, and programs.