About the Russell Center
Founded The Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West is a research center dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge about art as it relates to the western United States. It is administered by the OU School of Visual Arts in the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts and supports OU’s PhD tracks in the Art of the American West and Native American Art, as well as undergraduate study in art history. It offers symposia and a lecture series, a research library, and graduate student fellowships and grants. In connecting with museums, relevant course offerings, a sponsored book series, and related outreach programs, the Russell Center operates as a vibrant hub for conversations developing a better understanding of, and appreciation for, all makers, art, and visual and material culture practices in the American West.
Its library houses books, periodicals and newsletters, video and audio items, dissertations and theses, archival materials, artist papers, and documentation files to support research into all aspects of the art of the American west, including the center’s namesake Charles M. Russell and his contemporaries. Its book collection can be searched in OU libraires; please contact us with inquiries about archives—including the Thomas Moran (Thurman Wilkens Papers) and Charles Schrevyogel (James Horan Papers)—and vertical files on historical and contemporary artists in the American West. Other artists represented include Frederic Remington and Joe Taylor. The Center is also the headquarters for the Charles M. Russell catalogue raisonné, which documents approximately 5,000 works of art. It owns a few original artworks by historic and contemporary western artists and holds more than 100 early prints of paintings by Charles M. Russell.
During the academic year from August 15 through May 15, the Russell Center is open to the public from 9-4 PM, Monday through Friday, and by appointment. In summer, we are open by appointment. Our reading room is available for research and writing. It is also possible to rent our space for your event. With research requests, to make an appointment outside our regular hours, or to inquire about hosting an event in our space, please contact us at RussellCenter@ou.edu or (405) 325-5939.
The Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West is dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge about art as it relates to the western United States. Accepting the fluid definitions of West as place and as image, the Center encourages expansive and inclusive study of art of the American West. How did the West serve as place and as myth? How did art and visual culture shape ideas about identity, location, region, aesthetics, and community?
History of the Russell Center
Founded in 1998 through a gift from the Estate of Nancy Cooper Russell and matching funds from the University of Oklahoma, the Russell Center opened to the public in 1999 in the university’s Old Faculty Club building. The present director of the Russell Center is Dr. Emily C. Burns. She succeeds B. Byron Price and Peter H. Hassrick in this role.