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Sculptor Susan Kliewer discusses Charlie and Monte which depicts Charles M. Russell - "The Cowboy Artist - with his horse, Monte:
In many ways, Charlie Russell, the artist, and Montana, the state, helped define each other. Early in his cowboy life, as a night hawk, wrangling the horse remuda on the Judith Roundup, he would draw a sketch on any old thing he could lay his hands on.
Sometimes, he would us a piece of brown wrapping paper from the cook's supplies. Once, for a young lady, he drew on the silk lining of a hat.
In 1908-09, he went on the Pablo Buffalo Round Up as an observer to paint and sketch. Though not signed on as a cowboy with the outfit, he saddle up and worked just like the $5.00-a-day boys.
Charlie, for the most part, quit horses for the last three years of his life after an accident on the way home from the Jack Dempsey-Tommy GIbbons title boxing match in Shelby, Montana. Shortly before he passed away he wrote: "Any man that can make a living doing what he likes is lucky, and I'm that. Any time I cash in now, I win."
Charlie Russell collapsed and died at his home Great Falls, Montana, on October 24, 1926.
Charlie and Monte was featured in Western Art Collector magazine, April 2009, pages 20 and 91.