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The two primary artists in the Museum of Western Art collection are Fredric Remington and Charles M. Russell.

Fredric Remington
The work of Fredric Remington was one of the major influences that shaped the popular image of the Old West. Remington was born in Canton, New York, on October 4, 1861. During his childhood, he was fascinated by his father’s tales of action as a cavalry officer in the Civil War. These tales and his love for horses and the outdoors began Remington’s fascination with the West.

After only a year and a half at Yale University, Remington traveled to Montana to experience the West first hand. His major achievement was combining his actual experience with his imagination so seamlessly that the Old West of legends was brought to life. He died at the age of 48 of appendicitis. 

Charles M. Russell
Charles Russell was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and came to Montana at the age of 16 to become a “real cowboy.” In 1882 he started his career as a wrangler. He wrangled for eleven years, but was better known for his drawing and storytelling. In 1896 he married Nancy Cooper and became an artist. After moving to New York, Nancy’s business sense and his talent brought them success.