I'm not sure how much Montana school children learn about Charles Marion Russell, but as Thursday is his birthday, I thought I'd blog about him.
For starters, I grew up in Great Falls and attended Russell Elementary School and later would graduate from C.M Russell High School. I've been to the Russell Art Auction that happens in March each year.
Part of the grade school curriculum included a field trip to the Russell Museum. He was born in Missouri and moved to Montana to work on a sheep ranch. But once his art started selling, he was a full-time artist. He was known to trade artwork for drinks with bar owners in downtown Great Falls.
He would produce over 4000 pieces of art in his lifetime and was only 62 when he died. For his funeral, all the schools gave the kids the day off so they could watch the funeral parade.