Remington, Frederic(American, 1861-1909)
Born in Canton, New York in 1861, Fredric Remington was a central figure in the “golden age” of Western illustration in the United States; fellow Western genre artists such as Charles Schreyvogel and Charles Russell considered themselves to be part of the “School of Remington.”
Remington spent much of his youth enraptured by the wilderness, and even spent a period of time on the Western Frontier. Though his primary home became Brooklyn, New York, Remington often journeyed into the West on nearly mythical and epic trail rides, hikes, and hunting expeditions.
Harpers Weekly, Collier’s, and Outing Magazine frequently showcased Remington’s work, which glorified Western subject matter, such as rugged landscapes, horses, and cowboys; in fact, Remington once declared, “Cowboys are my cash.” Though briefly enrolled in the art school at Yale University, Remington took his primary love of action drawing to Montana and beyond, capturing the conflicts between the U.S. Cavalry and Native Americans, buffalo herds, grizzly bears, and saloons. Later he returned to school at the Art Students League of New York.
The media for Remington’s work included ink and wash drawings, watercolors, oil paintings, clay and bronze. Remington’s art is primarily naturalistic in style, and his mature paintings became more spare and impressionistic. Later in life, Remington devoted himself primarily to landscape studies, and, in an act of renunciation from his earlier aesthetic mode, burned many of his more illustrative works in a bonfire in front of his home.
A spirited character bordering on manufactured American-Western caricature, Remington, for many years, became a sort of icon of the rugged cowboy artist. He served as a war correspondent and illustrator during the Spanish-American War and contributed illustrations to Theodore Roosevelt’s book Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail. Remington was the author and illustrator of two books, The Evolution of the Cowpuncher (with Owen Wister) and John Ermine of the Yellowstone. He also contributed two images for U.S. postal stamps.
Works cited:
Samuels, Peggy and Harold. Frederic Remington: A Biography. New York: Doubleday, 1982.

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