Western Treasures

September 19, 2013 – September 14, 2014

Western Treasures reunited significant paintings by Charles M. Russell, Frederic Remington, and their contemporaries with rarely seen paintings from the Museum’s permanent collection, combined with six bronze sculptures by Remington and Russell, on loan from private collectors.

One of the oldest Russell paintings collected by Sid Richardson, Western Scene, ca.1885, made its debut in the Museum gallery. Painted with house paint on a narrow pine board for his friend James R. Shelton, the painting first hung behind the bar in Shelton’s saloon in Montana’s Judith Basin. Western Scene depicted themes Russell returns to throughout his life and included a buffalo skull, later to become his trademark.

The Scout, a 1907 watercolor by Russell, complements the Russell bronze, The Enemy’s Tracks (ca.1929–1934), a mounted Blackfoot warrior leaning over to examine tracks. With The Scout and The Enemy’s Tracks, Russell captured life and death duties of the Indian scout on the frontier. It was one of the five Russell bronzes on loan from private collections, selected for this exhibition to complement the strength of Russell’s American Indian themes represented in the Museum’s collection.

Schreyvogel’s Attack on the Herd is paired with Remington’s bronze, Dragoons 1850 (1917). Striking in its scale, Dragoons 1850, like Attack on the Herd (ca.1907), captured a dramatic moment of combat on horseback. In their day, only Schreyvogel rivaled Remington in the public’s esteem.