BOZEMAN — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will host its annual fall semester reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Pilgrim Congregational United Church, 2118 S. Third Ave. in Bozeman. The reception will feature keynote speaker Mary Jane Bradbury, a Montana-based actress, speaker, educator and author. This event is free and open to the public, and registration is not required.

Nancy Cooper Russell helped her husband, Montana artist Charles M. Russell, become the highest paid living artist of his time. Art historians consistently give her credit as the reason the world has Russell paintings and sculptures in galleries and private collections today. (Photo: MSU)

Bradbury’s keynote, “Kid Gloves and Brass Knuckles: The Life of Nancy Cooper Russell,” will be followed by brief presentations by OLLI’s fall instructors and highlights of the upcoming Side Trip Lecture Series. There will be time for socializing before and after the presentations and refreshments and light appetizers will be provided.

According to Bradbury, against the backdrop of the social and political reform of the early 1900s, Nancy Cooper Russell was ahead of her time. A self-taught businesswoman with leadership ability, Nancy helped her husband, Montana artist Charles M. Russell, become the highest paid living artist of his time. Art historians consistently give her credit as the reason the world has Russell paintings and sculptures in galleries and private collections today.

Bradbury will discuss Nancy Cooper Russell’s chance meeting with the cowboy artist who would become her husband, the world of art that celebrated the myth of the West at the beginning of the 20th century, and the artists and celebrities the Russells encountered as they traveled between New York and Hollywood.

Bradbury has been an actress, speaker, educator and author for more than 25 years. She is a chautauqua speaker for Humanities Montana and the Colorado Humanities. She has been an artist-in-residence for the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls and the Montana Historical Society in Helena, providing historic programming for schools throughout the state.

Before moving to Montana in 2014, Bradbury was an interpreter and actor for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Her passion for history, education and performance merged in her speaking business, A View of the Past, which tells audiences of all ages compelling stories from history. She works with schools, museums, corporations and historic venues throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

OLLI at MSU is a lifelong learning program of Academic Technology and Outreach, offering a variety of noncredit courses, lectures, tours, book discussion groups and other activities for the intellectually curious. OLLI at MSU members have access to exclusive members-only courses, a lecture series and tours. To purchase an OLLI membership or to register for fall programs, visit www.montana.edu/olli/.

For more information, please contact Academic Technology and Outreach, 406-994-6550, OLLI@montana.edu.