Gerald Peters Gallery Contemporary

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Ana Archuleta

Executive Art Assistant to Gerald Peters

Frederic Remington grew up in Canton, NY, where he was intrigued by the idea of the American west, its diverse individuals, animals, and promise of adventure.  Remington’s interest was further fueled by the captivating stories his father shared with him from his time serving with distinction in the Civil War.[1]

Remington attended the Yale School of Fine Arts from 1878 to 1880, showing far more interest in playing on the football team than his staid drawing classes.  He left school after his father’s death and took the opportunity to travel out west to observe and capture its scenes, landscapes and people.  Although Remington made several drawings of the west during this initial trip, his career as an illustrator was not launched until late in 1886, when after studying at the Art Students League, he traveled to the Southwest to observe Lt. John Bungelow’s troops. Remington submitted these sketches to Harper’s Weekly, which gladly accepted their “new and live material.”[2]  From that moment forward his career as an illustrator took off and he would eventually publish drawings in forty-one magazines.  Remington’s interest in the exploits of the west inspired numerous visits as he searched for fresh visual material of Indians, cowboys, cavalrymen, and pioneers involved in hunts, wild horseback rides, fights, and other spirited events.[3]

Remington remained fascinated with western themes, and continued to make visits to the west in search of new material.  In part because he wanted to be recognized as an artist, and not just an illustrator, Remington began to experiment with sculpture in 1895. His first attempt, Bronco Buster, was an extraordinary work, considering that he lacked training in this medium. He produced twenty-two other bronzes, of extraordinary quality and technical superiority, all of which furthered his artistic acclaim.[4]

By the time Remington died on December 26, 1909 (from appendicitis), he had created an extensive body of works in various media. In addition, his works intrigued critics and collectors and have continued to do so throughout this century. As Owen Wister remarked in 1905, “Remington is not merely an artist, he is a national treasure.”[5]

[1] Peter Hassrick, Frederic Remington,  Fort Worth, TX: Amon Carter Museum., 1973, p. 6.

[2] Henry Harper, The House of Harper, NY: Harper & Brother’s Publishing., 1912, p.603.

[3] Richard Gregg, Frederic Remington, Oshkosh, WI: The Paine Art Center, 1967, p. 1.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Wister, Owen, “Remington- An Appreciation,” Colliers, XXXIV, Mar. 18, 1905, 15.