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Larry Pirnie's 'Touchin' Clouds' sold for $4,000 at the C.M. Russell Museum's auction in March. Image courtesy of C.M. Russell Museum and LiveAuctioneers archive.

Russell museum lassos art auction name from Great Falls Ad Club

Larry Pirnie's 'Touchin' Clouds' sold for $4,000 at the C.M. Russell Museum's auction in March. Image courtesy of C.M. Russell Museum and LiveAuctioneers archive.
Larry Pirnie’s ‘Touchin’ Clouds’ sold for $4,000 at the C.M. Russell Museum’s auction in March. Image courtesy of C.M. Russell Museum and LiveAuctioneers archive.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) – The C.M. Russell Museum has secured the name and logo for the C.M. Russell Art Auction from the Great Falls Ad Club.

The Ad Club held the auction for 42 years and for 41 years gave some of the proceeds to the museum. A smaller donation from the 2009 auction prompted the museum to hold its own auction this spring, which raised $600,000.

The Ad Club lost money on the Russell auction in March and decided it would no longer hold an art auction.

Ad Club executive director Sara Becker says the museum sued the club earlier this year for the naming rights. Becker says the Ad Club sold the rights to the museum to avoid a legal battle.

Museum Executive Director Darrell Beauchamp declined to say if the museum paid for the name and logo.

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AP-WS-09-02-10 1728EDT