Bringing Up the Trail painting by Charles M. Russell
Charles M. Russell | Roping | ca.1925-1926 | Gouache on paper | 9 1/4 inches x 15 inches

Charles M. Russell: Watercolorist

Sixteen rarely seen watercolors by Charles M. Russell are featured in a special exhibition honoring our 30th anniversary.  Mary Burke, Director of the Museum, explains that "Charlie Russell's watercolors will help people gain a greater appreciation for his skill as an artist. Although he is well known for his oil paintings, experts on Russell consider his watercolors to be among his finest efforts."

To help visitors understand Russell's creative process, a series of step-by-step demonstrations will show how he painted Indian on Horseback (1907), a work featured in the exhibition.

The Scout painting by Charles M. Russell
Charles M. Russell | Breaking Up the Ring (Breaking Up the Circle) | 1900 | Watercolor, pencil & gouache on paper | 19 1/2 inches x 29 3/8 inches

Eight of the watercolors in the show are rarely exhibited works from the Sid Richardson Museum's permanent collection, and the remaining eight are on loan from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. This companion exhibit of Russell's watercolors is held in conjunction with Romance Maker: The Watercolors of Charles M. Russell, at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

As avid and friendly competitors collecting Charles M. Russell's paintings, the appeal of uniting his premiere watercolors at both museums would have certainly pleased Sid W. Richardson and Amon G. Carter, Sr.

Dr. Rick Stewart, a recognized authority on Russell, curated both exhibitions. Prior to his retirement, Stewart was director and then chief curator of the Amon Carter Museum.

He explains that "...watercolor is a difficult medium to master. As one authority on watercolor painting observed, the process of creating a successful watercolor is complex - much like thinking through a chess match. There are a multitude of decisions to be made, any one of which could adversely affect the outcome. It is all the more remarkable that Russell arrived at his mastery of the watercolor medium with little or no formal training...Those who view the sixteen watercolors on display in this gallery will understand and appreciate the high degree of his achievement."

Dragoons, Bronze sculpture by Frederic Remington
Charles M. Russell | On the Attack | 1901| Watercolor, pencil & gouache on paper | 11 5/8 inches x 17 5/8 inches