The work of famous American artist Frederic Remington is on display at the Brockville Arts Centre this month. Exhibits from Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, New York are featured in the lobby of the arts centre showcasing fine reproductions of Remington's original works.
Frederic Remington was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American (and Canadian) West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th-century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians and U.S. Calvary.
Remington was born and raised in Canton N.Y. and made a lasting impact on the world’s conception of the Old West, the subject of much of his art. Working as an illustrator for major magazines such as Harper's Weekly and Colliers, Remington was immensely popular and remains so today. He also painted land and riverscapes while working at his summer cottage on Ingleneuk Island at Chippewa Bay in his later years.
Laura Foster, Executive Director of the Frederic Remington Art Museum, said the purpose of the Brockville exhibit is to help raise awareness about the Ogdensburg museum. "I hope this will encourage a lot of people to come from Brockville to see the museum," she said.
The museum that bears Remington’s name was founded in 1923 with the original gift of art, working tools and papers that made its founding collection. Based in a 1810 mansion, the museum is also a historic house and features Remington's original work.
Ted Abbott, a Brockville resident and member of the museum's Board of Trustees, said the exhibit is an opportunity to share the world-renowned works of Remington with the museum's nearby Canadian neighbours. "I've always liked his work," said Abbott, a retired businessman and Montreal native who got involved with the Remington museum as a volunteer guide after he sold his company James Ross Ltd. Manufacturing in 2000. "I didn't realize the Remington museum was as close to Brockville when I moved here."
The Brockville Arts Centre lobby walls are graced by giclee reproductions of some of the museum’s best known Remington works, including The Howl of the Weather
and An Old-Time Plains Fight
. These were produced through extensive colour correction, using hundreds of colours to match the works from which they were created. The show also features reproductions of Remington sculptures in the museum’s collection. On a pedestal, the exhibit presents a magnificent reproduction of the museum’s finest cast of Remington’s famous Broncho Buster
, made from a digital scan of the original. A framed giclee of Hauling the Gill Net
will be offered in a free drawing. The drawing will be held on October 30th
at 3:00 p.m. The winner may collect the prize at the Frederic Remington Art Museum, just across the Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge.
Remington is credited with creating “cowboy” sculpture. From his inaugural piece, The Broncho Buster (1895), he created an art form still very popular among collectors of Western art. His iconic sculpture Rattlesnake, a horse rearing away in terror from a snake, as the rider clutches his hat was rumored to have been Ronald Reagan's favorite artwork.
Today his original works sells for millions of dollars and are displayed in an exceptional collection at the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg as well as New York City's Metropolitan Museum and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody Wyoming. They have also been displayed in Canada at Calgary's Glenbow Museum.
Best known for his depictions of the Old West in sketches, paintings and bronze sculptures of cowboys and Indians, Remington made a stretch of the St. Lawrence known as Chippewa Bay the tranquil subject of his later impressionist landscapes from his summer home and studio on Ingleneuk Island. He watched neighbour Frederick Bourne of nearby Dark Island build his 28-room castle as a hunting lodge. Remington was passionate about his summers at Ingleneuk. He did oil paintings of his studio, the boat house, his caretaker's shanty and Singer Castle after it was completed in 1904.
Remington died at 48 after an emergency appendectomy on December 26, 1909. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Canton, New York. He and his wife Eva had no children. After his death, Eva moved to a house in Ogdensburg as a guest of Remington's friend George Hall in 1915. She lived in the house, which today is the site of the Frederic Remington Art Museum, with her sister. Her estate became the Remington Art Memorial in 1923. Since then, the collection has expanded and is now called the Frederic Remington Art Museum. The Frederic Remington House was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
The museum holds its annual gala there in December and extends the invite across the border to Canadian guests to attend. Tickets are $60 for members and $65 non-members. Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.
The museum is located at 303 Washington Street, Ogdensburg, NY 13669. It is dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting the art and archives of Frederic Remington, and contains an unmatched collection of his works. The Museum is open October 15 – May 15, Wednesday -Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 1 to 5 pm and May 16 - October 14, Monday -Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 1 to 5 pm. For more information, visit the museum’s website: www.fredericremington.org. For a Google tour of the museum, visit:
By Kim Lunman, www.islandlifemag.ca
Kim Lunman is the owner/publisher of Island Life Magazine (www.islandlifemag.ca.) A profile of the past five years of Kim’s work was published in our November 2013, issue of TI Life. Her company, Thousand Islands Ink, is based in Brockville. Lunman is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in the Boat U.S. Magazine, Lakeland Boating, Reader's Digest, Globe and Mail and The National Post.
Be sure to see Kim’s article Remington's Heaven, published in August 2012. To see all of Kim Lunman’s TI Life articles, click here, and to read a more complete biography, see our About Page.