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Great Falls Montana History Tour
Item 8 of 8

This museum offers visitors an opportunity to view the personal collection and learn more about the life of Charles Marion Russell, artist of the Old American West. Russell completed more than 3,000 paintings that seek to capture the essence of the American West. Russell was born on March 19th, 1864 in St. Louis Missouri and died in Great Falls, Montana at the age of 62 on October 24th, 1926.

  • C.M. Russell Museum. American Humorist Will Rogers stated that Russell was the best storyteller he had ever heard.
  •  Charles M. Russell statue

Charles Marion Russel was born in St. Louis in 1864 and was raised in Oak Hill, Missouri, where his family’s estate is located in present day Tower Grove Park. At the young age of 15, Russell moved to Montana to start his life as a cowboy. By 1893, Russell was already a well-known artist, revered for his accurate paintings as well as his storytelling. World famous American Humorist Will Rogers stated that Russell was the best storyteller he had ever heard.

May 19th, 1991 Charles Marion Russell was inducted to the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Russell was recognized for preserving the frontier in his paintings with a great deal of accuracy. Because Russell was born in St. Louis, Missouri where he lived with his family until he was 15 it is only right that he is honored for his contribution to the art world in the state in which he was born and raised.

While Russell lived in Great Falls, Montana where he started his claim to fame as a professional painter, cowboy, and storyteller it was not until after Russell’s death in 1953 that the C. M. Russell Museum was opened. The museum was opened in 1953 and dedicated to Russell after the Russell’s family close friend and neighbor Josephine Trigg donated the family’s personal small gallery collection. In 2001 the C. M. Russell Museum became the home of Russell’s personal home which was built in 1900.