Creative Connections

16 07, 2024

How the US Post Made the American West

2024-07-18T11:07:20-05:00July 16th, 2024|0 Comments

As millions of settlers moved into the western United States between the 1860s and the early 1900s, they relied on a continent-spanning communications network to connect them to the wider world: the US Post.   Charles M. Russell, Maney Snows Have Fallen. . .(Letter from Ah-Wa-Cous [Charles Russell] to Short Bull), ca.1909 – 1910, Watercolor, pen & ink on paper, 8 x 10 inches     Thoughts of the American West and the postal service often conjure images of the Pony Express from the mid-19th century. But despite its hold on the American imagination, the Pony Express was a [...]

17 04, 2024

When Westerns Transcend Borders

2024-05-21T10:15:45-05:00April 17th, 2024|0 Comments

Our current exhibition, Charles M. Russell: Storyteller Across Media, focuses on the artist’s talent and ability to tell stories – largely set in the American West – through his art. When Hollywood emerged in the 20th century and began producing Westerns, many of the great film directors like John Ford often looked to artists like Russell as a visual model for storytelling. How does one tell the story of a Western? And what happens when the themes of the Western, this quintessential American genre, transform through changes in cultural constructions and acquire new meanings when it transcends borders? Stories of [...]

20 03, 2024

The Other Storyteller: Bertha M. Bower & Charles Russell

2024-04-10T10:23:36-05:00March 20th, 2024|1 Comment

Our current exhibition, Charles M. Russell: Storyteller Across Media, centers around the artist’s talent to tell stories through his visual art. Famous for his narratives set in the open range of Montana, Russell wasn’t the only storyteller of the American West. In the early 20th century, Chip of the Flying U was a popular novel about a ranch in Montana and was written by B. M. Bower. Who was this writer? She was Bertha Muzzy Bower, likely the first female author of mass-market Western fiction.   Portrait of B. M. Bower, circa 1890. Courtesy Cascade County Historical Society [...]

17 01, 2024

Chasing Charlie Russell: Glacier to Great Falls

2024-01-25T15:27:12-06:00January 17th, 2024|0 Comments

This past summer, our director Scott Winterrowd took a work trip up to Montana to visit and document the sites where Charles Russell lived and worked. Throughout the cowboy artist’s career, he was not always specific about the landscapes he painted as backdrops for his artworks. Instead, like many other artists, Russell would translate what he saw through his artistic lens and his own way of looking at the world. Often, the resulting landscape would be a compression of the vast spaces of “Big Sky” country. One of the main points of inspiration for Russell was in what is now [...]

20 12, 2023

Plains Indian Sign Language and Charles Russell

2023-12-20T09:07:15-06:00December 20th, 2023|1 Comment

During his residence in Montana, Charles Russell encountered Indigenous people, both on the northern plains of the state and from neighboring tribes in Alberta, Canada. He lived in the area where Plains Indian Sign Language (PISL), also known as Hand Talk among the Native community, was an important communication system among the Plains tribal members. Due to his relationships with many members of nearby Indigenous tribes, Russell learned signs of PISL and incorporated them into some of his paintings.   Mapping of North American Indian Sign Language     Outline of corresponding tribes with various regional variations [...]

14 11, 2023

Bison in Texas Today

2023-12-11T15:26:53-06:00November 14th, 2023|0 Comments

Our current exhibit, Charles M. Russell: Storyteller Across Media, focuses on all the different art forms through which the artist communicated a story in his work. One of the common narratives in Russell’s art is that of the relationship between Indigenous people of the Great Plains and the American bison. (Note: while bison is the scientific name, buffalo is the more familiar term used today.)   Charles M. Russell | Wounded (The Wounded Buffalo) | 1909 | Oil on canvas | 19.975 x 30.125 inches   What does that relationship look like today? A great example is taking [...]

18 10, 2023

The Evolution of the Cowboy Hat

2023-11-06T14:03:58-06:00October 18th, 2023|0 Comments

Every cowboy hat has a story to tell. When you walk through our galleries here at the Sid Richardson Museum, you’ll not have to journey far before you encounter an artwork featuring a figure in a Western-style hat. But not each hat is the same. Every cowboy hat carries the history of its wearer, whether that be Mexican vaquero hats, Charro hats, the hats of western performers or rodeo stars, and of course the working cowboy hats. So let’s take a journey through some highlights from our collection to explore the evolution and different iterations of the cowboy hat.   [...]

20 09, 2023

The Impact of a Dude Rancher

2023-11-06T14:00:46-06:00September 20th, 2023|0 Comments

The impact of Charles Russell’s friendship with pioneer dude rancher Howard Eaton appears twice in our current exhibit, Charles M. Russell: Storyteller Across Media. The first occurrence is in Russell’s 1916 oil painting Man’s Weapons Are Useless When Nature Goes Armed. In the bottom left corner viewers will see an inscription to Eaton from his friend CMR.   Charles M. Russell | Man's Weapons Are Useless When Nature Goes Armed (Weapons of the Weak; Two of a Kind Win) | 1916 | Oil on canvas | 30 x 48.125 inches   Detail of Man's Weapons showing Russell's [...]

15 08, 2023

Westside Stories: Black Homesteaders

2023-11-06T13:40:12-06:00August 15th, 2023|0 Comments

What do we see when we picture the American West? Perhaps Native women, elderly Indigenous men, or Anglo cowboys. Commonly imagined through art and film, these have been the consistent images of the American West that are still accepted to this day and that, until recently, very few people have questioned. This imagined West was very real for generations of people and remains the way that, for many people, we picture this place. Another way the “Old West” is imagined and imaged is through erasure; a time and place that is supported by those we do not see. In a [...]

19 04, 2023

The Study of the Night Sky

2023-06-22T11:44:52-05:00April 19th, 2023|0 Comments

“Few who would acquire a knowledge of the heavens, let him give up his days and nights to the marvels of Orion.” - Charles Edward Barns, a writer and hobby astronomer of the late 19th century   Frederic Remington completed over 70 compositions of night scenes from 1900 until his death in 1909. The artist referred to these paintings as his moonlights, and today we refer to them as nocturnes. The Sid Richardson Museum has 5 nocturnes in its collection. Our current show, Night & Day: Frederic Remington’s Final Decade, features 10 of Remington’s night paintings. Nocturnal images were crucial [...]