THE CHARLES M. RUSSELL BOOK by Harold McCracken

THE CHARLES M. RUSSELL BOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mister Montana"", Charles M. Russell, born in 1864, was a self-taught painter who bucked parental authority in 1880 to head West before he was sixteen. Harold McCracken, who wrote of another frontier artist in Frederick Remington; Artist of the Old West, turns now to Remington's chief rival -- an itinerant ranchhand who lived in the Indians' lodges painting on whatever surfaces came to hand; a tin cover might substitute for canvas. Russell was a frontiersman; he eschewed soap and water from one season's end to the other, donning a fresh shirt over the soiled ones, swapping his canvasses for liquor in the swinging door saloons of Montana. Marriage to Nancy Cooper, a girl 14 years younger than he, took place after he was 30. The bride turned out to be a business woman. In New York she arranged showings of the ""cowboy artist's"" work. Commenting in 1901 on the artistic tastes of Easterners he said, ""They were all daft on the impressionist school. Color! Why say, if I ever saw colors like that in a landscape I would never take another drink!

Publisher: Doubleday