Russell's affection for the old-time Westerners left stranded by encroachment on native lands extended to non-indigenous men who were married to North
American Indian women, objects of contempt by some with the passing of the frontier period when Indian-White marriages were common. When White Men Turn Red is the only example in the Sid Richardson Museum of Russell's later work in oils. Its vibrant colors are typical of his
palette after 1919. Many reasons have been given for his dramatic change in colors, among them his failing health which, perhaps, gave him a sense of
mortality and freedom to experiment with his color range. It may be that advancing age gave him an almost unbearable longing for the olden times which
found expression in the intense colors found in the oils of his sunset years.