Two Charles M. Russell Watercolors Consigned

Trail of the Iron Horse

Two Charles M. Russell watercolors consigned to Live Auction of The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum.

January 21, 2014, Great Falls, MT — The C.M. Russell Museum announced today that two original watercolor paintings by Charles M. Russell have been consigned to the live auction on March 22, 2014, for The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum.

The first is Trail of the Iron Horse, painted around 1924 and estimated to sell for $175,000- 225,000. C.M. Russell Museum Chief Curator Sarah Burt says of the painting, "Russell does not show the iron horse itself, but rather an empty railroad track bisecting the plains. A speculative Indian hunting party is shown halting at the tracks. In the background, the sun is setting over distant mountains, offering a poignant metaphor for the fate of the old ways that Russell deeply loved." Trail of the Iron Horse is the study for a larger watercolor of the same title that was painted in the same year.

The second consigned Russell watercolor was painted 30 years prior in the early 1890s. It is titled Bringing the Stolen Herd Home and is estimated to sell for $180,000-280,000. It depicts a Piegan war party rescuing a herd of horses that had been stolen by their enemies, the Crows. According to Burt, the main figure likely portrays Meekiappy, the Piegan war chief described in Robert Vaughn’s (1836-1918) book Then and Now; or, Thirty-Six Years in the Rockies (1900), for which Russell provided several illustrations.

"The consignment of these Russell watercolors proves that The Russell is considered a serious art sale by collectors. We are gratified to have such prestigious art in the sale this year," comments C.M. Russell Museum Executive Director Michael Duchemin.

Bringing the Herd Home

The Russell, which is scheduled for March 20-23, 2014, will showcase works of art from nationally known Western artists and collectors. The Russell consists of six distinct events: on March 20, Silent Auction and Art Preview, featuring art and travel experiences; on March 21, Art in Action®, a quick-finish event in which artists donate 100% of the proceeds to the museum, and First Strike Friday Night, an auction featuring trending artists’ work; on March 22, the signature live auction gala featuring original works by Charles M. Russell and an educational symposium featuring the 2014 C.M. Russell Heritage Award recipient, Brian Dippie, Ph.D.; and on March 23, Last Chance Sale and Brunch providing art enthusiasts a last opportunity to add to their collection of art.

For more information and tickets for The Russell, contact the museum at 406-727-8787 or visit

The mission of the C.M. Russell Museum is to collect, preserve, research, interpret, and educate on the art and life of Charles M. Russell; the art and lives of his contemporaries; and the art of preceding and ensuing generations that depicts and focuses on the culture, life, and country of Russell’s West.