THE EXALTED RULER, 54 X 76 inches, oil on canvas; in 1994, this painting by Charles M. Russell was sold by the Elks Lodge of Great Falls, Montana for $1.1 million to the C.M. Russell Museum. The work had been given to the Elks Lodge by Russell (1864-1926) himself in 1912.
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PATRIARCH OF THE ELK HERD, 24 X 42 inches, acrylic, (sold at Sotheby's in 2005 for $192,000), by Bob Kuhn
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BUGLING ELK, 24 X 32 inches, oil on canvas; in 2008, this 1909 painting by Carl Rungius (1869-1959) sold at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction for $172,500.
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SUDDEN ENGAGEMENT, bronze, By Ken Bunn
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ELK PETROGLYPH, Gila Bend, Arizona, artist unknown, By Brad Wilson
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Who Is The Greatest Elk Artist That Ever Lived?

Peruse Our Gallery Of Over 100 Wapiti Paintings And Sculpture

Written By Todd Wilkinson (Author's Bio)

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Few game animals have such a devoted following as Cervus elaphus but don't have to be a hunter to love elk. 

Which artists have made the greatest portrayal of these regal animals.

For millennia, elk have been the subjects of painting, sculpture and rock art. Indeed such interpretations across a variety of media are avidly collected, sometimes with high prices fetched at auction. The most money believed to have been paid for an elk painting was $1.1 million for an oil, The Exalted Ruler, by Charles M. Russell that now resides in the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana.



 The Exalted Ruler by Charles M. Russell (at CM Russell Museum)


Here is a bit of natural history:  The most widely distributed species of deer in the world, elk are iconic, especially bulls, known for their massive majestic antlers, making them regal stags of the New World. As prolific as elk once were—numbering perhaps 10 million strong in North America—it’s difficult to imagine that only 100 or so years ago, elk populations in most corners of the continent were hobbled by close calls with extirpation. About 100,000 survived. According to scientists, there once were six distinct elk subspecies—Rocky Mountain (in the Rockies of the US and Canda); Roosevelt’s (in the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest); Tule (in the central valleys of California);  Manitoban (northern Great Plains);  Merriam’s (US Southwest and Mexico); and Eastern (east of the Mississippi River).  The latter two are extinct.

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· Article is 800 words long (250 are displayed in this preview).

Author: Todd Wilkinson

Editor's Comments:

'Who is the greatest elk artist of all time?  Look for your favorite artist and enjoy our exihibition of elk paintings and sculpture.  If you think someone has been left out, submit their work.  Meantime, enjoy the gallery featuring contemporary and historic works by:  Brad Wilson, Bruce Miller, William G. Smith, Mick Doellinger, Wayne Meineke, George Bumann, Ross B. Young, Andrew Denman, Carl Rungius, Reid Christie, Nancy Glazier, Wes Siegrist, Meredith Campbell, Jack Burton, Kyle Sims, Ken Bunn, Mary Roberson, Randy Nahohai, Gordon Allen, Tim Shinabarger, Joni Johnson Godsy, Monte Dolack, Brett Lawrence, Susan Fox, Richard Loffler, Robert Bissett, John Banovich, Rock Newcomb, Bob Kuhn, Charles M. Russell, John James Audubon, Mike Barlow, Karl Bodmer, JC Dye, Nicholas Coleman, Rod Frederick, Veryl Goodnight, Antoine-Louis Barye, Michael Sieve, Albert Bierstadt, T McCracken, Kent Ullberg, Charles Timothy Prutzer, Isidore Jules Bonheur, Greg Beecham, Philip R. Goodwin, Daniel Smith, Paco Young, Francis Lee Jacques, Ken Carlson, ancient nativeartists, Carl Brenders, Sherry Salari Sander, Randal Dutra, TD Kelsey, Tucker Smith,Matthew Hillier, Robert Bateman, Sally Black, David Wade, Cathy Sheeter, Julie Chapman, Tom Mansanarez, Sande McCarty, Joshua Spies, Carol Hagan, Steve Lyman, Ed DuRose, Luke Frazier, James Gurney,  Terry Isaac, Chris Navarro, Al Agnew, John Lofgreen, Bart Walter, Philip R. Goodwin,  Spiel (Tom Taylor), Les Kouba, Doug Monson, David Rankin, Pierre Jules Mene, William F. Reese, Michael Coleman, Gerald Balciar, John Fery, Ralph Oberg, George Northup, Morten Solberg, Bob Scriver, Joshua May, and Dustin Van Wechel. '

Research tags: wildlife-art-journal, elk, wildlife art, rocky mountain elk foundation, carl rungius, dustin van wechel, cathy sheeter, doug monson, Sande McCarty, irish elk, wildlife art journal, national elk refuge, David Rankin, cm russell museum, exalted ruler, Brad Wilson, Ken Bunn, Julie Chapman, Nicholas Coleman, Bruce Miller, Susan Fox, William G. Smith, Mick Doellinger, Wayne Meineke, George Bumann, David Wade, Ross B. Young, Andrew Denman, Tom Mansanarez, Joshua Spies, Reid Christie, Carol Hagan, Nancy Glazier, Rod Frederick, Steve Lyman, Terry Isaac, Wes Siegrist, Meredith Campbell, Jack Burton, Kyle Sims, Mary Roberson, Randy Nahohai, Gordon Allen, Francis Lee Jacques, Tim Shinabarger, Joni Johnson Godsy, Monte Dolack, Brett Lawrence, Richard Loffler, Robert Bissett, John Banovich, Rock Newcomb, Bob Kuhn, Charles M. Russell, John James Audubon, Mike Barlow, Karl Bodmer, JC Dye, Veryl Goodnight, Antoine-Louis Barye, Michael Sieve, Albert Bierstadt, T McCracken, Kent Ullberg, Isidore Jules Bonheur, Philip R. Goodwin, Daniel Smith, Paco Young, Ken Carlson, ancient native artists, Carl Brenders, Sherry Salari Sander, Randal Dutra, TD Kelsey, Tucker Smith, Robert Bateman, Matthew Hillier, Sally Black, Luke Frazier, James Gurney, Chris Navarro, Al Agnew, Charles Timothy Prutzer, John Lofgreen, Bart Walter, Philip R. Goodwin, Spiel, Tom Taylor, Les Kouba, Pierre Jules Mene, William F. Reese, Michael Coleman, Gerald Balciar, John Fery, Ralph Oberg, George Northup, Morten Solberg, Bob Scriver, Ed DuRose, Greg Beecham, Joshua May

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