CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1864-1926)
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1864-1926)
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1864-1926)
5 More
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1864-1926)
8 More
PROPERTY FROM THE WICHITA ART MUSEUM
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1864-1926)

War Dancers

Details
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1864-1926)
War Dancers
inscribed 'CMRussell' with artist's skull device and 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N-Y-' (on the base)
bronze with brown patina
13 ½ in. (34.3 cm.) high
Modeled in 1925; cast circa 1926-29.
Provenance
Lee E. Phillips, Jr., Wichita, Kansas.
Private collection, Wichita, Kansas, by descent from the above.
Bequest to the present owner from the above.
Literature
R. Stewart, Charles M. Russell: Sculptor, Fort Worth, Texas, 1994, pp. 38-39, 85, 99, 131n131, 152-56, no. R-3, other examples illustrated.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

According to Rick Stewart, the first iteration of this sculpture, called Scalp Dance, "was registered under copyright on February 11, 1905, as 'two Indians stripped to the breech clout; one stands almost erect holding a gun up in the air. The other is crouched down with a shield and bow.'” (C.M. Russell: Sculptor, Fort Worth, Texas, 1994, p. 153) The Roman Bronze Works ledgers list two casts created in 1905 as “Indians Dancing.”

In January 1926, Nancy Russell sold an example of War Dancers to noted collector George D. Sack, indicating the sculpture was revised by the artist into the War Dancers form in 1925. Stewart explains, "The War Dancers sculpture that Sack purchased was a restored and altered version of the original Scalp Dance model. Sack's expressed desire to obtain an example of every Russell subject in bronze—and perhaps Sack's direct suggestion—may have prompted Russell to create an entirely new version. Sack described the resulting work as ‘the first cast from the restored model.’” (C.M. Russell: Sculptor, p. 154) Records indicate a further three sales of the model during Mrs. Russell’s lifetime in 1927-31, and then four bronzes and the plaster model remaining in her estate. This accounting is consistent with Homer Britzman’s 1950 article on Russell bronzes, which listed a total of 10 casts of Scalp Dance and War Dancers.

Stewart summarizes, "The number seems accurate, since at least nine casts have been noted in the surviving records. The actual number of casts made during Russell's lifetime may never be known, but it seems reasonable to assume that two casts of the original and two of the altered version were made prior to the artist's death. Casts of War Dancers that bear the foundry mark of the Roman Bronze Works would have been produced c. 1926-29, while those with the mark of the California Art Bronze Foundry would have been cast c. 1930-32, after Nancy Russell ceased her association with the Roman Bronze Works.” (C.M. Russell: Sculptor, p. 155)

Considering the above, the present work marked ‘ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N-Y-' was likely cast between 1926 and 1929.

More from 19th Century American & Western Art

View All
View All