Charles M. Russell (1864-1926)
Dakota Chief (1897)
oil on board
12 × 18 inches
signed and dated lower left
Sold at Auction: $1,089,000
Condition ReportSurface condition is excellent. Several small spots of inpainting around perimeter of painting, at edge of frame.
Important Notice: Statements of condition are provided as a service to potential bidders; such statements are educated opinions and should not be regarded as facts. The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction has no responsibility for any errors or omissions.
Exhibition sticker: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Dakota Chief is recorded in the C. M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné as reference number CR.NE.404.
Discussing this painting Russell historian Ginger K. Renner wrote, “Charles Russell, known from his early years as ‘the cowboy artist,’ in actuality painted far more Indian subjects than he did those of the cowboy tradition. The artist had a deeply ingrained admiration for the lifestyle and the cultural traditions of the Northern Plains Indians. But the Indians he preserved and committed to canvas and paper had long disappeared, confined to the restrictions of the reservation, his last glory-days of his tremendous success at the Little Big Horn becoming a faint memory in a few short years. Russell, ever the romantic, chose not the Indian he knew but the one of his youthful dreams as the subject of his creations. In Dakota Chief we see on a broad and lonely prairie a young and stalwart Indian man who reigns up his spirited black and white spotted pony. Alert and watchful, the man wears a long-tailed feathered headdress and carries a slim, slightly decorated lance in his left arm. He sits on a colorful blanket-covered saddle, a war shield with a horse design showing under his left knee. Is he scouting for buffalo for his tribe or is he looking out for signs of enemy trackers? The viewer is not informed, but there is great purpose and intent in his actions as documented by the artist.”
[James Graham and Sons, New York, New York]
The Jean H. McDonald Trust, Overland Park, Kansas
Property from a Private Collection
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, n.d.