The Man Walter Russell – His Life and His Work
The Artist (1890 – 1920)
As a young man he was an illustrator for books and magazines.
In 1894, at the age of twenty-three, he married Helen Andrews. During this first marriage, he had two daughters, both born before the end of the century, and two grand-daughters. But most of the time, Russell lived alone in his studio in Carnegie Hall in New York, while his family lived in Washington, Connecticut, in a house he had designed and built for them.
From 1897 to 1898 he was Art Editor of Colliers Weekly, then became war artist and correspondent for Colliers and Century in the Spanish War.
In 1900 he completed his allegorical painting entitled The Might of Ages which was first exhibited in the Turin International Art Exposition, winning honourable mention from Italy, then exhibited throughout Europe, winning him many honours from France, Belgium and Spain, including membership to the Spanish Academic of Arts and Letters, Toledo.
From then on, until 1914, he mainly painted portraits of children. His principal instructors in art had been Albert Munsell and Ernest Major of Boston, Howard Pyle of Philadelphia and Jean Paul Laurens from the Academy Julian in Paris.
From 1914 he mainly painted portraits of notables, wrote books and built numerous big buildings, some of which still exist. Together with other sculptors, architects and painters he conceived the principle of co-operative ownership for flats in New York.