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A Dangerous Situation

On view

A Dangerous Situation

Artist: Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864 - 1926)

Date: 1897
Medium: oil on cardboard mounted on hardboard
Dimensions:
12 × 18 3/8 inches (30.5 × 46.7 cm)
Frame: 18 × 24 1/4 × 2 3/8 inches (45.7 × 61.6 × 6 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Signed: CM Russell [skull] 1897 (lower left)
Credit Line: Bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark, 1965
Object number: 31.11.1
Accession Number: 1965.1.692
Label Text:In Russell’s painting, a steer charges a cowboy and his horse as the rider attempts to rope the animal. This situation likely occurred when the cowboy needed to round up cattle for shipment to market. Russell is known as the “cowboy artist” because he used his experiences as a working cowboy in his art. In paintings like this one, he portrayed the cowboy in heroic action. Yet Russell realized the changes coming to the West meant that the days of the cowboy working on the open range were coming to an end. Russell identified with the West of the past and used a buffalo skull as part of his signature.
Provenance: Purchased June 26, 1957 though (E. W. Latendorf, New York, New York) by H.J. Lutcher Stark [1887-1965]; bequeathed September 2, 1965 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation; accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art
Exhibitions:
  • Cowboy Legends and Life
  • Branding the American West: Paintings and Films 1900-1950