Helena loans out Russell paintings to museum in Great Falls


The Montana Historical Society is loaning 20 Charles M. Russell paintings to the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls as the Helena museum is undergoing extensive renovations, officials said Friday.

They said this loan is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two entities.

“It just makes sense to loan these paintings to the C.M. Russell Museum so they can be enjoyed by the public while we’re undergoing upgrades to our current facility,” MTHS Director Molly Kruckenberg said in a news release.

She noted the 66,000-square-foot addition to the Montana Heritage Center will allow the Helena museum to almost triple the size of its current Russell gallery when it reopens in 2025.

The loan includes some of Russell’s most iconic paintings, including “Laugh Kills Lonesome,” a 1925 oil on canvas; “York,” a 1908 watercolor; and “Caught in the Act,” an 1888 oil on canvas.

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The new exhibit at the Russell Museum will open March 17.

They will join some of the 1,000 Russell creations owned by the C.M. Russell Museum, a nonprofit which holds one of the world’s largest Russell collections.

“Charlie would have deeply appreciated this collaboration between friends,

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