Rightly deserves the accolade of New Bedford’s definitive whaleman artist as only a few professional American artists ever went whaling and none documented the fishery in its many myriad events and moods as thoroughly as he. Not only did Russell use his own whaling experience to document details and actions only ever captured by his fellow whalemen in private journals and scrimshaw, but he moved his art into the public sphere, painting ships and scenes on commission and publishing a series of prints as well.
He married Hannah Howland of New Bedford in 1827. Throughout his 20’s he Invested In whaling voyages and owned shares In the family merchant vessels as well.
-New Bedford Whaling Museum