The Group Travel Leader

MAY 2017

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GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E — C . M . R U S S E L L M U S E U M — G R E A T F A L L S , M O N T A N A Art museums and Western heritage museums around the country feature exhibits of Western art that highlight the work of many well-known painters. But none were as well known in their own time as Charles Russell, better known as C.M. Russell, who lived in Great Falls, Montana, and was one of the country's most celebrated artists around the start of the 20th century. "He was truly a celebrity at his time," said Mark Robinson, director of marketing at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. "His wife was his business manager, and she was one of the reasons that he became the highest-paid artist of the time." But Russell's fame and fortune didn't take away from his true Western bona fides. He spent a decade as a working cowboy on the range in Montana before he ever sold a piece of artwork, and the things he experienced deeply shaped his artistic perspective. "He is known as America's cowboy artist," Robinson said. "He really respected the American Indian cultures out here, which was quite unusual at the turn of the century." The Russell Museum offers the country's definitive Russell experi- ence. Visitors can see his home as well as the log cabin studio where he did much of his painting. Galleries at the museum showcase numerous famous Russell paintings, including "The Exalted Ruler," "Cowboys of the Circle Diamond" and "Crossing the Northern Plains," as well as a famous work called "Mothers Under the Skin," which pictured Native American and white women and children. W W W.C M RU S S E L L .O RG 2 3 "THE EXALTED RULER" CHARLES RUSSELL IN HIS CABIN STUDIO Photos courtesy C.M. Russell Museum "CROSSING THE PLAINS"

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