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A Symposium at Gilcrease on "The Masterworks of Charles M. Russell"

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – Earlier this week on our show, we profiled a great new retrospective of Charles Russell's painting and sculpture, which is now on view at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. (The show runs through May 2nd.) On today's edition of our program, we'll look closer at the ideas, trends, inspirations, and experiences that informed Russell's work as a major artist of the American West. Our two guests today are Bob Pickering, Senior Curator at Gilcrease, and James Ronda, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Tulsa. Both scholars will soon be participating in a symposium on Charles Russell, which happens at Gilcrease tomorrow (Saturday the 20th) from 8:30am till 4pm. Was Russell actually documenting (or somehow "reporting on") a vanishing --- or, in fact, bygone --- West in his paintings, sculptures, and other artworks? Or was he, rather, romanticizing that West? How did he present (or represent) American Indians in his work? Why was Russell so drawn to the Lewis and Clark expedition (as a subject for painting)? And what influence did he have on such other "cowboy artists" as George Catlin, Karl Bodmer, Carl Wimar, and Frederic Remington? Such are the questions to be explored at this symposium, and such are the topics addressed on this edition of StudioTulsa. (For more information on the symposium, call 918-596-2768 or visit gilcrease.org.)