Russell Chatham was born in San Francisco on October 27, 1939. He lived in the city until 1949 when his family moved to San Anselmo, or more specifically, Sleepy Hollow, where he spent the next twelve years. Then, for the following eleven years, he worked and lived in Marshall, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Black Point, Bolinas, and Nicasio, earning his living as a sign painter and cabinetmaker slash carpenter. In the spring of 1972 he moved to Livingston, Montana. As a painter and author, Chatham is self-taught. He is the grandson of the great landscape painter Gottardo Piazzoni.|
He began exhibiting formally in 1958, and since then has had something on the order of four hundred one man shows at museums, art centers, private galleries, schools, colleges and universities not only throughout the west in places like Sun Valley, Aspen, Santa Fe and Denver, but also in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. His work has also been exhibited in Europe and the Orient. Chatham began printmaking in 1981, and is today regarded as one of the world's foremost lithographers
Publications about Chatham include a catalogue called One Hundred Paintings, and another about his original lithographs called The Missouri Headwaters. Five new books are in production, scheduled for release in 2003. One is called Selected Lithographs, another is The Seasons, a survey of the large format canvasses, another is called The Intimate View, a review of the small acrylics and watercolors, another is strictly portraits, and finally, a book of the Marin County paintings done in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Chatham has been profiled in Esquire, Southwest Art, People, U.S. Art, Antiques and Fine Art, Architectural Digest, Smart, The Denver Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Associated Press, National Public Radio's Morning Edition, and Fresh Air, PBS, and CBS Sunday Morning.
Chatham's writing includes hundreds of articles, short stories, essays and reviews about fly fishing, bird hunting and conservation as well as a number of pieces on food and wine. Since 1967 his work has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, The Atlantic, Men's Journal, Outside, Sports Afield, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Gray's Sporting Journal, Fly Fisherman, Fly Rod and Reel, as well as in dozens of newspapers and smaller specialty magazines. His books include The Angler's Coast, Silent Seasons, and Dark Waters. One new book is in progress, and will be released in 2003. He is the founder and publisher of HYPERLINK "http://www.clarkcitypress.com/"Clark City Press , which, since 1989, has published twenty-eight books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, photography, and children's classics, all of which have given the Livingston based company a sound national reputation.
In 1995, Chatham conceived and designed a restaurant. Chatham's Livingston Bar & Grille was built during the first ten and a half months of 1996, opening on November 15th of that year. Having celebrated its fifth New Year's Eve with a formal dinner and dance, the restaurant is enjoying a reputation as one of the Rocky Mountain region's premier establishments.
Among Chatham's private collectors are authors Peter Matthiessen, the late Eudora Welty, P.J. O'Rourke, David Halberstam, Curt Gentry, Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane, William Hjortsberg, James Crumley, the late Richard Hugo, James Welch, Richard Ford, Rick Bass, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Robbins, Carl Hiaasen, and the late Richard Brautigan; editors and publishers, Jann Wenner, the late Seymour Lawrence, Terry McDonell, and William Randolph Hearst, III; New York restaurateur Elaine Kaufman; cartoonists William Hamilton, Guindon, and the late B. Kliban; former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent; art critic Robert Hughes; media correspondents Tom Brokaw, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer, Van Gordon Sauter, and the late Charles Kuralt; entertainment personalities Michael Keaton, Rip Torn, Elizabeth Ashley, Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard, the late Sam Peckinpah, the late Slim Pickens, Margot Kidder, Jeff Bridges, Peter and Jane Fonda, Sydney Pollack, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sean Connery, Harry Dean Stanton, Angelica Huston, Jimmy Buffet, Dave Grusin, Don Henley, Glenn Frye, Dennis and Randy Quaid, Meg Ryan, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Wagner, Jill St. John, Ali MacGraw, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and Harrison Ford.
Russell Chatham lives in Livingston, Montana.