Charlie Russell, Charles Marion Russell (b. 1864, Oak Hill, Missouri - d. 1926, Great Falls, Montana), also known as C.M. Russell, was one of the great artists of the American West. Russell created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes set in the Western United States, in addition to bronze sculptures. His mural entitled Lewis and Clark Meeting the Flathead Indians hangs in the state capitol building in Helena, Montana. His 1918 painting Piegans sold for $5.6 million dollars at a 2005 auction.
Art was always part of Russell's life. As a child, he drew sketches and made clay figures of animals. He had an intense interest in the wild west and would spend hours reading about it. He would watch explorers and fur traders who frequently came through Missouri and finally, after years of dreaming, acted upon his ambitions. At the age of sixteen, he left school and went to Montana to work on a sheep ranch.
In 1882, at the age of eighteen, Russel...