Remembering Walter Russell
A tribute to Walter Russell, painter, sculptor, musician, autodidact, philosopher, and author on his 151st birthday by John Bonsall
Walter Russell grew up in Boston, the son of immigrants from Nova Scotia. The Boston of his time was awash with new ideas, but he achieved fame and fortune when he and his bride moved to New York City in 1894. There he became a magazine art editor, a war correspondent, and a children’s portrait painter. A dearth of studio space led him into a joint venture in cooperative apartment building.
In May of 1921, Russell had an out-of-body experience he called Cosmic Illumination. New knowledge was revealed to him “In the Light.” His book The Universal One was written and published in 1926. 800 copies were printed and handed out to the top scientists and Universities of his day. Nikola Tesla was the only scientist to recognize his genius. He told Russell to lock up this new knowledge, put it in a time capsule at the Smithsonian to be opened in a thousand years. Hopefully, mankind would be ready to receive it then.
Debates with scientists and several books followed as Russell tried to explain his new knowledge. At age 56, he turned to sculpture, rising to the top with the Mark Twain Memorial and President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. Russell is associated with the New Thought Movement and with the Science of Man. The New York Herald-Tribune called him “The Modern Leonardo,” and to Glenn Clark, his biographer, he was The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe.
Together with his wife Lao, they founded the Walter Russell Foundation in 1948, which later became the University of Science and Philosophy. Walter Russell’s legacy is carried on at the Russell Museum in Downtown Waynesboro, Virginia. Soon to be realized is his contribution to science. His code to the workings of nature have been broken and will be given to the world in its greatest hour of need. Finally, perhaps the world will embrace his new knowledge as it was given to him back in 1921 during his grand Illumination of 39 days and nights. And so it is, one of the greatest men to have ever lived, we celebrate his birthday and all that he has given the world.
John Bonsall is the President of University of Science and Philosophy, founded in 1948 by Walter and Lao Russell to teach the science of man, mind and illumination through its Home Study Course and various other publications.