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Prairie Children is recorded in the C. M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné as reference number CR.PC.103.

An original letter of authenticity written by Frederic G. Renner in 1980 and When Charlie Russell was Ah-Wah-Cous will accompany the lot.

According to Elizabeth Greenfield, “Pets and friends figure big in a child’s life. I had a friend and I had a pet, and each of them was uniquely different. The friend was Charlie Russell whom my father had met in Cascade when both were newly come to Montana Territory in the 1880s. Since that time, Papa had achieved success but Charlie had not. This was lucky for me because Charlie had time then to be the charming friend he always was to children.…

“My dearest pet was Tom, the antelope. Charlie regarded wild animals in much the same sympathetic way he regarded children, so he and Tom and I made a wonderful trio.…

“Charlie was at the ranch one day in the lambing season. There are always orphan lambs on sheep ranches and I always adopted some. This year I had two, one white and one black. Tom was terribly jealous and followed me around, looking for a chance to butt them out of my arms.…

“Later he [Charlie] sent me a picture of Tom and me, and the lambs. He said he painted me with my head turned away because he hadn’t ever painted little white girls. The lambs, too, were exceptional in this picture because Charlie hated sheep and authorities today assert he was never known to have painted one.…”

PROVENANCE
The Artist
Mrs. Elizabeth Greenfield, Helena, MT
Carroll College, Helena, MT
Collection of Paul and Doris Masa, Kalispell, MT

EXHIBITED
C. M. Russell Room, Montana Historical Society, Helena, MT

LITERATURE
Elizabeth Greenfield, When Charlie Russell was Ah-Wah-Cous (Helena, MT: Elizabeth Greenfield, 1975), front cover and page 4, illustrated

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