40th Annual C. M. Russell Art Auction

The C.M. Russell Auction will be held March 12-15, 2008 at the Best Western Heritage Inn in Great Falls, Montana. Celebrating its 40th birthday this year, the Auction is named for famed cowboy artist Charles Marion Russell, a man whose passion for life, fun-loving nature, and sincere interest in the world around him are evident in the nearly 4,000 works of art he completed in his lifetime. 

Meet C.M. Russell

Charlie Russell (1864-1926) was many things: consummate Westerner, historian, advocate of the Northern Plains Indians, cowboy, outdoorsman, writer, philosopher, environmentalist, conservationist, and artist.  He is one of the most widely recognized and distinguished Western artists. He was the first Western artist to live the majority of his life in the West, and for this reason knew his subject matter intimately.  He painted in a time when there was considerable interest in the West and his work was popular because of its narrative subject matter, unique style, dynamic action, and his ability to depict a specific phase or event in Western history. Russell made Great Falls, Montana his home for more than 30 years, and it was in his studio that he devoted his talents to preserving the heritage of the West.  

The Auction

Produced by the Great Falls Advertising Federation www.gfaf.com the C.M. Russell Auction began in 1969 as a fundraiser to support the organization, as well as the nationally acclaimed C.M. Russell Museum, located in Great Falls, Montana www.cmrussell.org  That first year, 77 works of art by 29 different artists were auctioned off. The highest price,$2 ,100, went for a Russell bronze. The Auction traditionally takes place the weekend closest to Charlie’s birthday (March 19th). This year’s Auction takes place March 12-15, 2008 and features 300 pieces of art to be sold during two live auctions.  Auction Highlights

  • Auction festivities begin Wednesday, March 12 with Charlie’s Party and the Exhibit Room Premiere. Both events are open to the public and give art lovers and Auction participants the chance to view more than 100 art exhibit rooms, as well as the opportunity to celebrate the man for whom the Auction is named.
  • Friday morning’s Chuckwagon Brunch and Awards Ceremony combine fabulous food with the presentation of Auction awards.
  • This year’s seminars promise to be both informational and entertaining. In honor of the Auction’s 40th year, founder Norma Ashby will present a special seminar detailing the 40-year history, complete with videos and special guests. Also scheduled to present a seminar is Honored Guest Artist Martin Grelle. 
  • The Quick Draw, one of the most popular Auction events, precedes the main Auctions on both Friday and Saturday. Auction-goers watch 12 artists create works of art in a one-hour time period.  The pieces are then sold before the main Auction with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the C.M. Russell Museum.


  • A Patron ticket is $200 per person for all Auction events and includes reserved seating, a special reception, early admittance into the quick draws, and a full-color Auction catalog. 
  • A Reserve ticket is $150 per person for all Auction events, reserved seating, and a full-color catalog. A one-night Reserve ticket for either Friday or Saturday’s auction and quick draw is $100 which includes reserved seating and a full-color catalog. 
  • Catalogs are $50 if purchased at the door or $55 if mailed. 

 For more information contact:Great Falls Advertising Federation1-800-803-3351  •  gfaf@gfaf.com Websites of interest:C.M. Russell Auction: www.cmrauction.comC.M. Russell Museum: www.cmrussell.orgGreat Falls Advertising Federation: www.gfaf.comRussell Country Tourism Region:  www.russell.visitmt.com


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