The Russell

Great Falls, MT

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter two days, four auc­tions and hun­dreds of works of Western art that were sold to bid­ders, The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Ben­e­fit the C.M. Russell Mu­seum racked up more than $5.1 mil­lion in sales.

A num­ber of artists, both his­toric and con­tem­po­rary, per­formed re­mark­ably well dur­ing this year’s 50th an­nual event, but once again Charles M. Russell was the star. Not only did Russell works ac­count for eight of the top 10 lots as well as a com­bined auc­tion to­tal of $3.2 mil­lion across a dozen works, the cow­boy artist also achieved the top lot with Buf­falo Hunt #17, which sold for $1,425,000.

Other top lots in­cluded two bronzes—the rare Spirit of Win­ter (est. $400/600,000) that sold for $380,250 and A Bronc Twis­ter (est. $250/350,000) that sold for $321,750—and a va­ri­ety of other works, in­clud­ing sev­eral wa­ter­col­ors, gouaches and a col­lec­tion of sil­ver­cast minia­ture sculp­tures. An­other stand­out Russell work is Just as Ev­ery­thing is Turn­ing Black, I Hear Bed Rock’s Winch­ester from 1899. The dra­matic scene, show­ing a bear at­tack on a rocky out­crop­ping, was es­ti­mated at $200,000 to $300,000. It fell within es­ti­mates when it sold for $222,300. Other strong his­toric works in­cluded Joseph Henry Sharp’s Crow Camp (est. $80/120,000) that sold for $87,750 and Eanger Irv­ing Couse’s Fire­side In­dian (est. $50/75,000) that sold for $76,050.

Living artists with no­table sales in­clude Jeremy Win­borg, whose 48-inch tall paint­ing High­cal­iber, fea­tur­ing a Na­tive Amer­i­can fig­ure stand­ing with a ri­fle at her side, sold for $52,650, well over its $9,200 high es­ti­mate. The piece set a new artist world record for the Utah painter. Other pieces in­clude Andy Thomas’ Mark Twain Ne­vada (est. $48/60,000) sell­ing at $52,650, and Oleg Stavrowsky’s Most Im­por­tant Pas­sen­ger (est. $50/75,000) sell­ing at $55,575. Russell Skull So­ci­ety artist Chad Pop­ple­ton did well with a paint­ing of Russell, The Vi­sion: Charles Mar­ion Russell, that sold for $35,100, clear­ing a $25,000 high es­ti­mate

While more than $4.6 mil­lion was re­al­ized from The Russell Live sale, other events re­lated to the an­nual event also drew in sig­nif­i­cant sums: the fashion-themed Russell Runway

Show pulled in more than $10,000, the First Strike Fri­day Night Auc­tion brought in more than $345,000, and the Art in Ac­tion quick­draw event re­al­ized more than $131,000. Pro­ceeds from all the events go di­rectly into pro­gram­ming and ed­u­ca­tion at Great Falls’ C.M. Russell Mu­seum.

“We were thrilled with the suc­cess of the event this year. There seemed to be an ex­tra spark in the air as spir­its were high in cel­e­bra­tion of the 50th Russell auc­tion to ben­e­fit the mu­seum,” says Duane Braaten, di­rec­tor of art and phi­lan­thropy at the mu­seum. “We had a great time hon­or­ing the re­mark­able his­tory of this spe­cial March event, and the bid­ders, artists and Western art lovers in the ca­pac­ity crowds also got a great start in cre­at­ing high­lights and memories for the next half­cen­tury.”

Charles M. Russell’s Buf­falo Hunt #17 is pre­sented to bid­ders dur­ing The Russell Live. The piece sold for $1,425,000. Bid­ders watch The Russell Live on March 17 in Great Falls, Mon­tana.

Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), Spirit of Win­ter, cast ca. 1926, bronze, 101/8 x 101/8 x 6” Es­ti­mate: $400/600,000 SOLD: $380,250

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