Charles M. Russell and the 1919 Victory Stampede

The Piegans, 1918 Oil on Canvas, Petrie Collection, Denver, Colorado

It’s been 100 years since an amazing exhibition of Charlie Russell’s masterpieces went on view at the Calgary Stampede. At that time, Russell headlined the exhibits in an effort to help boost a struggling Stampede Rodeo in the Alberta town of Calgary. The event spanned one week and the events and exhibits commemorated and chronicled the changing West, a good fit for cowboy Charlie’s art.

Charlie and Nancy Russell shipped 24 paintings and 8 bronzes north to go on display at the late August event. Russell was at the peak of his career and nine of the 32 pieces sold four months later by the end of the year.



A docent tours a group through Charlie Russell’s log studio

From now through September 29, 2019 the majority of the pieces exhibited in Calgary can be viewed at the Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana. Many of these pieces are now in private collections so this assemblage of masterpieces is a way to view what the public normally wouldn’t be able to see.

In 1919, the Canadian event was branded as the Victory Stampede in honor of troops returning home from WW 1, the Great War. This summer’s event at the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls is titled “Return to Calgary and the 1919 Victory Stampede”.

Also new at the Russell Museum are interactive displays at Charlie’s log studio and an “update” to the old furnishings and decor at Nancy and Charlie’s house. Painstaking details are re-created in wallpaper and design to reflect the original decor.

This summer is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view art now in private collections and also to see the updates at Charlie’s studio and home.

Native American artifacts used by Russell to portray accuracy in his paintings

The Russell Museum is open from 10am -5pm seven days a week from now until September 30, 2019.

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