The life and artwork of Charles M. Russell will be the focus of a June 10 program at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
The free program will begin at 7 p.m. CDT on Thursday, June 10. Guest speaker Emily Crawford Wilson will speak via Zoom on the big screen in the Jay D. Vogt Education Room at the Cultural Heritage Center. People may attend the program in-person or join via Zoom on their own devices. Attendance at the Cultural Heritage Center will be limited to 15 people. People must register at www.sdhsf.org to attend either virtually or at the Cultural Heritage Center.
Russell (1864-1926) created more than 4,000 paintings, sketches, drawings and sculptures. He arrived in Montana in 1880, and Montana became his home for the rest of his life. He lived the life of a cowboy, and his artwork depicts the cowboys and Native Americans living in the American West during the 1880s and 1890s. Russell’s popularity and standing as an artist comes from his detailed and accurate portrayals of the West.
Wilson is the former senior curator of art at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Mont., where she developed numerous exhibitions of Russell’s artwork and wrote many articles about the landscape and people who influenced him.
“We’re fortunate to have a person as knowledgeable about Russell as Emily telling us about his life. His popularity as ‘the cowboy artist’ endures almost 100 years after his death,” said Catherine Forsch, chief executive officer of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society.
Wilson crafted a modern fairy tale based on Russell’s life in her book for young readers, “Charlie Russell and the Gnomes of Bull Head Lodge.” The book was recently published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press and is sold at the Heritage Stores at the Cultural Heritage Center and the Capitol. A display about the process of illustrating the book is on exhibit in the Vogt Education Room. Wilson will also talk about Russell’s gnome sculptures during her presentation.
The June 10 program is sponsored by the Press and the Foundation.
For more information about the program, please call Dorinda Daniel at 605-773-6006.
About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.
About the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation
The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is a private charitable nonprofit that seeks funding to assist the South Dakota State Historical Society in programming and projects to preserve South Dakota’s history and heritage for future generations.