Frederic Remington

American, 1861-1909

Frederic Remington, a popular artist and illustrator, typified the look of the American West for a generation. He dropped out of Yale at the age of nineteen, to the dismay of his well-to-do New York family, to try his luck in Montana. There, he hunted bears and buffalo and made a series of failed attempts to get rich on the spoils of the West. After the last failure, a hardware store ruined by an alleged swindle, he turned to art, his longtime hobby, as a means to support himself. He became an artist-correspondent for publications including Harper’s Weekly and Outing Magazine. His break came when he was commissioned to illustrate a book by Theodore Roosevelt, Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail. That illustrious commission would lead to many others, including what is considered his illustrative masterwork, The Song of Hiawatha. Remington also wrote several western novels, which offer some of the earliest examples of the now-ubiquitous “mythic cowboy.” His art continues to be highly sought after, especially among collectors of Western art.