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According to author and Russell historian Rick Stewart, “Charles Russell originally copyrighted this bronze, described on the application as an ‘Indian riding [a] horse with a single thong for [a] bridle and bit’ under the title Mounted Indian on July 21, 1911. Interestingly, the title by which this bronze is known today, Medicine Whip, was introduced by the artist’s wife, Nancy C. Russell, some time after her husband’s death. The name derived from one of Russell’s early published stories about an old Blackfoot warrior titled The War Scars of Medicine Whip, and Mrs. Russell doubtless wanted to apply a more romantic, evocative title to help sales of later casts of the bronze. The bronze was first exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1912; although the identity of the foundry that made this cast is not known, surviving correspondence indicates that at least two casts made by the August Griffoul & Brothers Foundry of Newark, New Jersey were made and delivered to the Russells in July 1916. At least three Griffoul casts of Medicine Whip are known, the cast here being one of them. Another cast is in the collection of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These casts, as far as can be determined, have the look and feel of bronzes done by the sand cast method, rather than the lost wax process. It could be that Mrs. Russell chose the Griffoul Foundry for the same reason that she chose other foundries in this period to cast her husband’s work: they offered the lowest casting price. Even so, this cast shows a warm, even patina and a high degree of detail for this particular subject. Lifetime casts of the Medicine Whip bronze are rare, and this one is an outstanding example.”

LITERATURE:
Frederic G. Renner, Charles M. Russell: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture in the Amon Carter Museum (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1984), page 89, example illustrated
Rick Stewart, Charles M. Russell Sculptor (Fort Worth, TX: Amon Carter Museum, 1994), pages 190-194, example illustrated

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