Creative Connections

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 [...]

10 03, 2023

“Cowboys Are Cash”: Remington & Advertising

2023-04-10T12:59:13-05:00March 10th, 2023|1 Comment

*The following is researched and written by Dr. Mark Thistlethwaite, Professor of Art History Emeritus, Texas Christian University* Among the striking artworks currently on view in the exhibition Night and Day: Frederic Remington’s Final Decade, I found The Herd Boy (ca. 1905; fig. 1) to be particularly intriguing. I am impressed by how Remington plays off the details of the shivering young man mounted on his scrawny horse against the vagueness of the vast frozen landscape and how the amazingly frenetic brushwork of the windswept foreground contrasts the resigned rootedness of the horse. I am also captivated how Remington suggests [...]

15 02, 2023

Free & Enslaved Black Cowboys

2023-04-10T12:46:26-05:00February 15th, 2023|0 Comments

For over a century, the image associated with the Texas cowboys has been a white man, like those painted by artists Charles Russell and Frederic Remington as found in the Sid Richardson Museum’s collection. Yet, one-quarter of the 35,000 cowboys who participated in cattle drives from Texas between 1866 and 1895 were Black. Less understood or appreciated is that many of these cowboys learned their craft while enslaved.   Charles M. Russell | Cowpunching Sometimes Spells Trouble |  1889 | Oil on canvas | 26 x 41 inches   Where in Texas did many of these Black cowboys [...]