400 13th St. N, Great Falls
Charles M. “Charlie” Russell, “the cowboy artist” who came to Montana from Missouri in 1880 when he was 16, is honored at this authentic Western museum. Working as a rider and wrangler during the era of the great ranches, Russell made his first sketches to entertain his fellow cowboys. His first nationally famous painting was Last of the Five Thousand, showing a starving cow in the dreadful winter of 1886– 87. From there he went on to become one of the most famous artists to draw and paint the West. Images of war parties, buffalo hunts, cowboys, and Native Americans demonstrate the wild beauty of the Old West.
In the museum are some of Russell’s most famous paintings and sculptures, and some personal memorabilia, such as Russell’s letters and sketches. The museum stands next to Russell’s log Victorian home and studio—both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Open daily May–Sept.; Tues.–Sun. in Oct.–Apr. Admission charged.