J.K. Ralston ~ Artist ~ Yet Another Montana Gem!

James Kenneth Ralston was born in 1896 in Choteau, Montana where his father was a cattle rancher and foreman on ranches in Choteau, Helena and near the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in eastern Montana. In his early 20’s, Ralston attended the Chicago Art Institute and received formal art training on two occasions.
After marrying and moving to the west coast doing commercial illustration work for several years, he and his wife Willo, moved back to Culbertson, Montana to assist with the family ranching duties. The depression had a big impact on the family ranch, and Ralston and his wife moved decided to move to Billings to set up his studio and become a full time professional artist in 1935. Ralston, during his life, was often referred to as the “modern day Russell” by art enthusiasts, collectors and patrons. He died in 1987.
Ralston was a student of the culture of the western expansion as well as the American Indian and he became involved in doing large murals completed for post offices, government buildings, hotels, bars throughout Montana.
Growing up in Montana, and being a student of the American frontier period and Native American culture, Ralston is one of the artists I seek to collect. If you have a Ralston artwork of any type, please contact me for a confidential consultation at mike@westernamericanindianart.com.
Mike Raunig, Owner
Raunig Art Enterprises

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