Art show location and dates
Image credit: Charles M. Russell, The Jerkline, 1912, oil on canvas, 24.25 x 36 inches (C.M. Russell Museum, Gift of Fred Birch)
Return to Calgary: Charles M. Russell and the 1919 Victory Stampede
Location: McDougall Centre, General Gallery
Hours: 11 am to 2 pm
The show will be open to the public on the following Thursdays and Saturdays in September:
Thursday, September 12
Thursday, September 19
Saturday, September 21
Thursday, September 26
Saturday, September 28
Join us for this free art exhibit at the McDougall Centre. The show commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Victory Stampede that marked the end of Word War I, and C.M. Russell’s original Return to Calgary exhibit. Many of the paintings represented here are considered some of Russell’s finest works.
The 1919 exhibit
In 1919, after 4 long years of global conflict and great loss, the world was finally at peace. Following a 7-year gap, the 1919 Calgary Stampede ran from August 15 to 30. To celebrate the end of the war, Guy Weadick, founder of the Stampede, named it the Victory Stampede. One of the major exhibits Weadick secured for the occasion was a show featuring 24 paintings and 8 bronze sculptures by renowned American artist Charles M. Russell.
“For a population reeling from the effects of the war, Russell’s images offered a respite from the barrage of photographs and newsreels that had saturated daily life; his work harkened to a familiar and reassuring landscape far from the trenches and war-wracked cities of Europe.”
From the Calgary Stampede Blog, May 14, 2019
2019 tribute exhibit
To commemorate the historic 1919 exhibit, the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana located most of the artworks from Russell’s Victory Stampede show. For the first time in 100 years, these works are now reunited in Montana. The exhibit includes 22 of the 24 original oil paintings and all 8 bronzes, on loan to the museum from 16 public and private lenders from across North America. Find out more about C.M. Russell and the original collection.
Back in Canada, organizers of the Calgary Stampede also wanted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Victory Stampede. It would be difficult, however, to travel artworks now worth millions of dollars to the exhibition grounds. So, 23 high-quality reproductions on canvas were commissioned for the 2019 Calgary Stampede.
These reproductions, now on display at the McDougall Centre, provide Albertans with a unique glimpse of C.M. Russell’s 1919 Victory Stampede show.
About the artist
Charles Marion Russell (1864 – 1926) was a cowboy, writer, advocate of Indigenous people of the Northern Plains, environmentalist, conservationist, and Western artist. He worked as a cowboy and wrangler for 11 years before retiring in 1893 to become a full-time artist. The renowned “cowboy artist” would produce over 4,000 works of art over his lifetime – sculptures, drawings and oil and watercolor paintings set in the Western United States and Alberta. His work is widely collected by art institutions including Calgary’s Glenbow Museum and our provincial art and archival collections.
The following deserve special thanks for helping to bring this 100-year old art show back to life, and share it with Albertans:
- the 16 public and private lenders: for granting permission to commission and display the 23 reproduction paintings
- Jill Cross: Board Member (CM Russell Museum), and Past Chair (Calgary Stampede Public Art Committee)
Connect with the McDougall Centre at:
Phone: 403-297-6464 (Calgary)