The following text is from the acknowledgments in our book. Not only did these people assist me in writing the book, catalog essay and information for the exhibition, but they made the journey of rediscovering Jim incredibly rewarding. I will forever be indebted for their personal interest and their contributions. They are an integral part in revealing this new chapter of Indiana art history, the life and art of James Spencer Russell.
Writing this book would have been impossible without the dedicated assistance and support of many people. I am exceedingly grateful for their interest and encouragement.
Dr. Steven Conant, MD and Dr. Thomas Kuebler, MD blazed the trail in search of the story of the artist James Spencer Russell. Speaking with Bryan Byrn, Curator of Exhibitions at the Midwest Museum of American Art, Steve and Tom learned about Jim’s friend Wade Bussert who safeguards Jim’s personal archive.
Steve and Tom worked with Rachel Perry, Emeritus Curator of Fine Arts at the Indiana State Museum, to secure the retrospective exhibition, Style, Elegance and Wit: The Art of James Spencer Russell. Rachel’s advice and feedback, as both a curator and author, have been constructive and informative.
Steve’s counsel throughout the research and writing process has been invaluable.
Tom Kuebler passed away September 26, 2012 during the research phase of the book. His love of art, perspective and keen curiosity have guided us along the way.
Without Wade Bussert, this book would not exist. Wade is a fount of knowledge and is the keeper of Jim’s personal archive. Wade was with us every step of the way. All we had to do was ask and Wade readily provided recollections of his relationship with Jim and an abundance of research material for us to dig into.
During our trips to Kewanna, Diane Tesler has been an exceptional host. Not only has she shared her studio for space to research Jim’s life, she cooked up a storm and provided top-notch overnight accommodations in her bungalow. And, while visiting Diane’s studio, it is always a pleasure to view her newest paintings.
Bridget Wheadon shared her experiences with Jim which gave us a unique viewpoint on Jim’s later life in Kewanna. Bridget passed away May 23, 2013.
Kelly and Pam Leeman are to be commended for collecting and preserving many of Jim’s best works. We are grateful for their encouragement and support. Thanks to Kelly and Pam this book contains two photographs from Jim’s Iconographic Constructions artwork.
Tom Curran contacted us via our website and gave an exceptional account of knowing Jim while working at the Grand Central Station Post Office. His personal point of view helped us better understand and appreciate Jim.
Thanks to Bill Bace, of Bill Bace Gallery, for answering his phone one afternoon and taking a call out of the blue from a stranger. Bill provided his perspective on Jim, his art and the art scene in New York City.
George Ciscle, Curator-in-Residence at the Maryland Institute College of Art, shared his Russell archive as well as his experience of knowing Jim and appreciating his art.
Mark Ruschman, Chief Fine Arts Curator at the Indiana State Museum, took the reins for the exhibition after Rachel Perry retired. Mark’s steadfast support and encouragement of our research and writing is greatly appreciated.
Thanks to Jack Russell, Jim’s nephew, who brought a personal point of view to our knowledge and understanding of Jim and his art. Jack’s insight into Jim’s life story, artwork and creative process was crucial and inspirational.
My wife Julie has been tireless in researching Jim’s life and appreciating his art. I cannot even begin to count the hours she has spent poring over and organizing various material and items that have brought clarity to Jim’s life and art. She developed a timeline of Jim’s life that was instrumental and essential in facilitating my ability to write this book.
Thanks to Mike Stoup for his assistance in photographing our James Spencer Russell collection.
Karen Bruner Stroup, PhD is the editor extraordinaire. Her determination, and hours of hard work, brought my manuscript to life. Karen continually provided a wealth of ideas, inspiration and direction.
I want to give a shout out to the Kibitzer Tavern and Restaurant. Their friendly service provided many a carry out lunch and late dinner when we were in Kewanna doing research.