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Charles M. Russell Catalogue raisonné

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Charles M. Russell Catalogue raisonné

In partnership with the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, the Russell Center has compiled a catalogue raisonné on artist Charles M. Russell. This project, which continues to be updated on a regular basis, includes information on all of the artist's known oil and watercolor paintings, illustrated letters, pen and ink drawings and original models. The online catalogue raisonné, available from 2007 until 2021, is presently being rebuilt in a new platform.

I Think I Have a Russell

The Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West, which houses the Charles M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné Project does not authenticate or appraise (determine value) of any pieces. A committee of Russell experts drawn from around the country provides opinions on works based on provenance history and analysis of the work with regard to the artist’s oeuvre. The review process can take on average between two and eight weeks, depending on the amount of research necessary as well as due to schedule limitations of the volunteer committee members.


The review process is as follows:

1.    See if your object meets the project parameters.

2.    Submit materials [see submission information below]

3.    Materials are reviewed by Russell Center staff against known information and images and then the inquiry is prepared for committee review. Bronzes, Prints, and Painted Replicas are typically returned to the owner at this stage [unless committee review proves necessary].

4.    Committee members review materials.

5.    An opinion is rendered to the owner via e-mail by the committee chairperson.

a.    Yes:  If matches known work in the catalogue, then the existing number is provided. New numbers are assigned to previously unknown works.

b.    No:  If not considered to be in the artist’s oeuvre, then the committee corresponds with a brief statement summarizing their reason(s) for exclusion.

Please do not contact us via multiple formats. An e-mail with the form following the guidelines here is all that is needed. The committee will only consider re-evaluating previously reviewed works in light of substantial and significant new research or findings.


Project Parameters

The committee does not evaluate what we consider to be minor sketches by the artist.


Prints and Painted Replicas

People have been making prints of Russell’s works since he was alive and there is long print history that has yet to be explored fully.

The first step is to assess if you have an original or print work:

1.    Do a reverse image search on Google or TinEye. If your image appears here and is in a published collection, you probably do not have an original work.

2.    If you do not find the image online, take a jeweler’s loupe (or a strong magnifying glass) and look closely at the work. If you see small dots, then it is a print. If you see pencil lines and paint lines that conform to the painted shapes (sometimes reproductions have varnish layers added to give an effect of painting), then it is more probable you have an original.

3.    Please compare anything you think is a pen and ink drawing with published images by the artist, making a line-by-line comparison. If there are extra lines or the lines do not align, this is likely not by Russell.


Regarding prints and reproductions of Russell’s work, see:

Yost, Karl and Frederic G. Renner, eds. A Bibliography of the Published Works of Charles M. Russell. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971.

Peterson, Larry Len. Charles M. Russell: Legacy (Printed and Published Works of Montana’s Cowboy Artist). Helena, MT: Twodot Books, An Imprint of Falcon Publishing (in collaboration with the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT), 1999.

Some prints may have value. As we do not appraise, we suggest that you search the auction market and reputable dealers for comparable works.

For painted replicas, the analysis process can be more involved. There have been a number of known forgers and sometimes even students studying Russell have reproduced works in an attempt to understand the artist, and their works may have fooled some viewers into believing them to be by the known artist.



The Charles M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné Project focuses on original models by Russell and not the bronzes cast by the Russells or other parties. The bronzes represent an area for further study. Regarding Russell’s bronzes, see:

Stewart, Rick. Charles M. Russell: Sculptor. Fort Worth, TX: Amon Carter Museum, 1994.

Some bronzes may have value. As we do not appraise, we suggest that you search the auction market and reputable dealers for comparable works.

After reviewing the project parameters, do you think you have an original Russell work (painting, drawing, sketch, illustrated letter, or original sculptural model)? We have identified about 5,000 works to date. Please download and fill out this form and send photographs of the work to For photographs, our preference is that at least one image show the entire composition straight on and that you send publication-quality images (300 dpi, .tiff format, and eight [8] inches on the shortest side). For 3D works, please show images of all sides. Please also provide relevant detail images, such as of the signature, any labels or text on the verso, or other important or interesting areas.

If the images are not of sufficient clarity or quality, then the committee may request to view the work(s) in person. In this instance, it will be the owner’s responsibility to transport the work to/from the assigned review destination.

Thank You!


pdf Russell Catalogue Raisonne Inquire
Click Here For Form to Return with Images