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CM Russell artwork auctioned during Western Art Week

The Russell
Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 16, 2024

GREAT FALLS — “The Russell: A Western Art Experience” is a live auction for historic and contemporary artworks that serves as a main event for Western Art Week in Great Falls.

“We're gearing up for the main event of the weekend-long Russell activities,” said Duane Braaten, Director of Art and Philanthropy for the CM Russell Museum, “We've had several busy days of art and art lovers from all across the country converging here on Great Falls and celebrating Western art.”

With a full house expected at the Heritage Inn between 600 and 700 attendees, the event is a huge fundraiser for the CM Russell Museum that takes all year to plan.

“it take so much time, effort, and planning and people to make an event like this happen,” said Braaten, “It really does take a full calendar year to put together all the details to pull this off.”

This year’s cover piece was painted by Charles Russell himself. Titled “The War Party”, the oil painting is expected to sell for more than two million dollars.

“It's a major work in oil that he did, and those are very rare to come up to the market, and we're hoping we've got the right buyers in the room,” said Braaten, “We're really excited about what that could bring. It's estimated at 2.25 to $3.25 million.”

Proceeds from the auction go toward the CM Russell Museum’s operating budget, education programs, and exhibition funding. Though Charles Marion Russell may have died in 1926, his spirit and love of the old west continues to live on through his artwork and legacy, and the CM Russell museum is honored to share his history with the people of Great Falls.