The CM Russell Museum announced today that an original oil painting by Charles M. Russell has been auctioned live on March 22, 2014, for The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the CM Russell Museum.
Charles M. Russell painted this dramatic oil, titled Offering a Truce [Bested], in 1895, and it was estimated to be priced between $ 1,300,000 and $ 1,800,000, the highest ever requested in the history of the Russell Exhibition and Sale.
Sarah Burt, chief curator of the CM Russell Museum, described the history of this oil. “Russell based this painting on an actual shootout between horse thieves and one of the most well-known vigilante groups, the ‘Stuart Stranglers’, led by the colorful Granville Stuart (1834-1918). It depicts the bloody aftermath of the shootout, when fallen horses serve as the only shields against gunfire. The shell casings littering the ground and the empty bullet loops on the outlaw’s weapon belts illustrate the need to surrender.
“As one of Russell’s most ambitious works of the mid-1890s,” Burt continued, “Offering a Truce became quite well known early in the artist’s career and as a result he now owns a blue provenance. “
Originally among the group of oils owned by Charles Schatzlein (close friend and first art dealer of Russell) of Butte, Montana, the work was a favorite of William B. Cameron, editor of Western Field and Stream, who published it as an illustration in the September 1897 issue of his magazine. The painting then entered Sid Willis’ famous Mint Saloon collection in Great Falls, where it was hung until Willis sold his collection in 1945.
“This shipment of Russell Oil proves once again that our auction can attract the highest quality artwork and that The Russell 2014 will be a major event in the Western art world,” said Christina Blackwell. , Co-chair of the Russell Sales Committee. “We are honored to have such a historically significant piece in our live auction. “
The Russell, which is scheduled for March 20-23, 2014, will showcase artwork by nationally renowned Western artists and collectors. The Russell consists of six separate events: March 20, a silent auction and art preview, featuring art and travel experiences; on March 21, Art in Action®, a quick-finish event in which artists donate 100% of the proceeds to the museum, and First Strike Friday Night, an auction featuring works by trending and emerging artists; March 22, Live Auction Gala featuring original works by Charles M. Russell, and an educational symposium featuring 2014 Russell Heritage Award winner Brian Dippie, Ph.D.; and on March 23, last chance sale and brunch for art lovers to add to their art collection.
For more information on The Russell, contact the museum at 406-727-8787 or visit www.cmrussell.org/the-russell.
The mission of the CM Russell Museum is to collect, preserve, research, interpret and educate about the art and life of Charles M. Russell; the art and life of his contemporaries; and art from previous and following generations that depicts and focuses on the culture, life and country of West Russell.