Remington goes east
New Texas museum exhibition examines famous Western artist's other frontier
If there is one name synonymous with Western art, it is Frederic Remington. But the artist famous for his iconic paintings of the American West hailed from the Northeast — and his beloved home region is the subject of a surprising new exhibition at Fort Worth's Sid Richardson Museum.
“Another Frontier: Frederic Remington’s East” opened September 14 at the art museum in Fort Worth's Sundance Square. It features paintings and artifacts on loan from the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, New York, as well as archival items from the St. Lawrence University Special Collections Library in Canton, New York — both located near where the artist grew up.
There are paintings, letters, photographs, sketches, and diary entries on display that take visitors far from Remington’s West and introduce them to his circle of Eastern friends — and to the North Country that he loved.
Remington was born and raised in Upstate New York. He attended Yale, briefly settled in the West, and then lived and had studios in New York and Connecticut, the museum explains. He made numerous trips to the West over the years, but created most of his illustrations, paintings, sculptures, and writings in the East.
It turns out that while Remington (1861-1909) was painting all of those scenes of American Indians and cowboys galloping through the open plains that he became known for, his New York studio was surrounded by the landscapes of the North Country, and by the lakes and foothills of the Adirondacks, the Saint Lawrence River, and the forests of Canada.
"Frederic Remington was literally at home in Upstate New York, and his paintings of the scenery and history of the North Country offer appealing variations on his frontier subject matter," says Canadian-born author and historian Brian W. Dippie, noted scholar on the art and popular culture of the American West, in a release. "This exhibition invites viewers to see a Western master afresh."
The display includes paintings of a campsite in the Adirondacks, sketches of Remington and his wife, Eva, in the St. Lawrence River, a photo of Remington in the studio of his summer home in Ingleneuk, a 1908 diary, and paintings from friends whose work Remington admired, such as Childe Hassam and Willard Metcalf.
As part of a unique exchange between the two museums, nine Remington Western paintings from the Sid Richardson Museum have been loaned to the New York museum. The Richardson has one of the most significant private collections of Remington and Russell paintings in the U.S.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Remington museum in New York and bring these extraordinary Remington paintings to our community," says Pete Geren, president and CEO of the Sid Richardson Foundation," in a release. "They will add another dimension to our patrons’ enjoyment and understanding of Remington and complement the masterworks in the Sid Richardson’s permanent collection."
“Another Frontier: Frederic Remington’s East” is open daily; the museum offers free admission and docent-guided tours every Tuesday and Saturday at 2 pm.