The artist who created Custer’s Last Fight — Charles M. Russell — was no fan of the frontier army. Montana’s celebrated cowboy artist mourned the passing of the Old West. He looked back nostalgically to the time of the open range, before fences tamed cattle country. During the summer of 1888, he lived in Alberta, near camps of Blackfoot, Blood, and Piegan, and grew to admire their way of life. Because Russell identified with the losses of the Plains Indigenous people, his rendering of the famous battle puts the victorious warriors in the foreground. The cavalry soldiers appear only as distant shadows.