Timeline

1894
Ca. 1894

Remington standing with a saddled horse, cyanotype.

Ca. 1894

Studio photo of Remington on horseback; cyanotype.

1895
January

Remington and Eva travel to Punta Gorda, Florida, where he collects material for an article titled “Cracker Cowboys of Florida,” published in Harper’s Monthly in August.

March

Remington writes Wister “you ought to see the great model I am making,” and he writes Poultney Bigelow that he was “making a bronze which is to be one of the world’s treasures.”

May

The sculptor Frederick Ruckstull erects a shed on Augustus Thomas’ property next door to Remington to create a large equestrian sculpture; Remington visits Ruckstull every day to watch him work on the statue.

July

Remington’s first book, Pony Tracks, a collection of earlier articles, is published; Remington dedicates the book to “the fellows that rode the ponies that made the tracks.”

August

Remington finishes the work on his model of The Bronco Buster; he selects the Henry-Bonnard foundry in New York City to do the casting using the sand-cast process.

September

Owen Wister’s article, “The Evolution of the Cow-Puncher,” accompanied by five illustrations by Remington (including The Fall of the Cowboy, ACM) is published in Harper’s New Monthly; Remington gives Wister The Last Cavalier, one of the paintings made for the article; the masterpiece accompanying the article, however, is the painting titled The Fall of the Cowboy.

October 1

Remington copyrights the design for The Bronco Buster on his eleventh wedding anniversary and three days before his thirty-fourth birthday; it becomes the first sculpture of a cowboy in bronze.

October 19

The art critic Arthur Hoeber writes a glowing review of Remington’s The Bronco Buster in Harper’s Weekly; the writer William Dean Howells tells the artist that “you are such a wonder in every way that it would be no wonder if sculpture turned out to be one of your best holds.” The Century Magazine publishes an article on the bronze illustrated with photographs, and the work is praised by the New York Times.

November 19

Remington has his second exhibition and sale of 114 works at the American Art Galleries of the American Art Association; only ten are oil paintings in color, the rest black-and-white illustrations in various mediums, and the artist realizes $5,800.

November 20

Theodore Roosevelt writes Remington, “It seems to me that you in your line, and Wister in his, are doing the best work in America to-day.”

Ca. 1895

Remington on the steps of his home in New Rochelle, New York.

Ca. 1895

Remington and an assistant posing a model in his studio in New Rochelle, New York.

Ca. 1895

Remington posing on horseback in front of his barn at New Rochelle, New York.

Ca. 1895

Studio portrait of Remington’s friend, the writer Owen Wister.

Ca. 1895

Remington working on the clay model of his first bronze, The Broncho Buster.

Ca. 1895

Remington on horseback in Central Park, New York.

1896
January

Remington travels to Texas and Mexico to hunt and sketch, returning to New York in February with material for six articles

Late January

Remington writes Wister that he is modeling his second bronze, The Wounded Bunkie, saying it’s “in mud for you to make a final kick against before it [becomes] immortal.”

April

Remington has a local architect build a 40-foot wing on to his New Rochelle house for a studio, complete with a skylight in the high ceiling; at the far end is a double door that could be opened to admit a team of horses as models; Remington writes Owen Wister in June or July that he had concluded to build a studio “Czar size” that would be “a great thing for American art.”

June

Remington spends the summer in the North Country doing pastel studies; he tells a friend, “I have cornered the New York market in pastel boards and am going up to St. Lawrence Co. for the summer and I am going to paint every thing in it.” He finds the pastel medium easier for the color studies he is beginning to do under the increasing influence of the Impressionists.

July 9

Remington copyrights his sculpture, The Wounded Bunkie; the sculpture is offered for $500 in an edition of twenty, and fourteen are sold.

September

Remington travels west as a guest of Lieutenant Carter Johnson, writing that he is going to Montana “to sweat & stink and thirst and starve and paint—particularly paint.” He talks with Johnson about his exploits with the Northern Cheyenne seventeen years earlier, and makes the following note in his sketchbook: “The attack on the camp—Johnson charging the infantry up the hill;” this becomes the inspiration for his oil, Through the Smoke Sprang the Daring Soldier (ACM), painted the following year.

Ca. 1896

Remington and three unidentified men at a campfire.

Ca. 1896

Remington posing in a North Country hat with a pipe.

1897
January

Remington accompanies the journalist Richard Harding Davis to Cuba, on commission from the Hearst newspapers, to interview the insurgents fighting Spanish rule, but they end up traveling under the Spanish authorities without achieving their goal.

January

Remington’s folio-sized book of 62 works titled Drawings is published by the R.H. Russell Company, with a preface by Owen Wister; one of the wash drawings illustrated in the book, Her Calf (ACM), is also reproduced on a china serving platter by the Buffalo [New York] Pottery Company.

The Werner Company, a Chicago Publisher, reissues Remington’s illustrations from the autobiography of General Nelson A. Miles as a portfolio of plates titled Remington’s Frontier Sketches.

July 27

Remington receives a letter from Lieutenant Carter Johnson at Fort Assiniboine, Montana, praising him for the depiction of his exploits during the Cheyenne uprising as detailed in Remington’s story, “The Sergeant of the Orphan Troop,” to be published in Harper’s New Monthly in August; one of the illustrations for the article is the painting Through the Smoke Sprang the Daring Soldier (ACM), and Johnson calls it “very true to life.

August 9

Remington writes Poultney Bigelow: “Just back from the Adirondacks. Going to Montana first of month—kill elks—get short stories and paint… I shall not try Europe again. I am not built right… Europe is all right for most everybody but me. I am going to do America—it’s to my taste.

September

Remington’s article, “The Great Medicine-Horse: An Indian Myth of the Thunder,” is published in Harper’s New Monthly.

October 26

Theodore Roosevelt writes Remington to thank him for a complimentary copy of the artist’s new book, Drawings. Roosevelt states: “I am almost ashamed to take your beautiful book; but I am going to take it, for nobody could have given me anything which I would value so much. You know you are one of the men who tend to keep alive my hope for America!

November

Remington’s article “Joshua Goodenough’s Old Letter” is published in Harper’s New Monthly.

November 11

Theodore Roosevelt writes Remington: “I don’t think I ever thanked you half enough for your book. I look over it again and again, and enjoy every single picture.

December

Remington has a comprehensive exhibition of his work in Boston; one newspaper critic disapproves of his work, saying that “Remington’s indifference to the beauty of form, his unfeeling realism, and his poverty of color are formidable handicaps.”

December 25

Remington writes Theodore Roosevelt: “Mrs. R. had the good sense to give me ‘The Winning of the West’ for Xmas… I am deep in it—I am supremely happy, and only wonder why I have not had it before—I suppose because I can’t have everything I want.

December 28

Theodore Roosevelt writes Remington: “Are you aware, O sea-going plainsman, that aside from what you do with the pencil, you come closer to the real thing with the pen than any other man in the western business? And I include [Emerson] Hough, [George Bird] Grinnell, and [Owen] Wister. Your articles have been a growing surprise. I don’t know how you do it, any more than I know how [Rudyard] Kipling does it; but somehow you get close not only to the plainsman and soldier, but to the half-breed and Indian, in the same way Kipling does to the British Tommy and the Gloucester codfisher. Literally innumerable short stories and sketches of cowboys, Indians and soldiers have been, and will be, written. Even if very good they will die like mushrooms, unless they are the very best; but the very best will live and will make the Cantos in the last Epic of the Western Wilderness before it ceased being a wilderness. Now, I think you are writing this ‘very best.’”

Ca. 1897

Remington posing in hunting gear with two guides at Cranberry Lake in the North Country of Canada.

Ca. 1897

Remington posing in hunting gear with two guides at Cranberry Lake in the North Country of Canada.

1898

The United States Post Office uses two Remington works from Drawings in a commemorative set of stamps for the Omaha Exposition; the eight-cent stamp reproduces Protecting a Train as Troops Guarding Train, and the fifty-cent stamp reproduces The Gold Bug as Western Mining Prospector.

April-May

Remington travels to Key West, Florida, on April 14 as part of a contingent of correspondents to cover the developing war between the United States and Spain in Cuba; he is assigned to the battleship Iowa, part of the naval blockade fleet. He transfers to the flagship New York before being put ashore on May 2 to await further events; Remington is back in New Rochelle by the end of the month.

June 14

Remington embarks from Tampa with the U.S. invasion fleet to Santiago, Cuba, to cover the Spanish-American War for Harper’s and the New York Journal; Remington follows the infantrymen of the Second Division ashore at Daiquiri Beach on June 22.

June 29

Remington writes Eva: “The first night ashore it rained and I slept all night wet… I have an awful cold—and can’t get over it… John Fox [a writer for Harper’s] and I sleep on the same blanket. We burn at Genl. Chaffee’s mess—crackers, coffee, and bacon—by God I haven’t had enough to eat since I left Tampa—I am dirty—oh so dirty. I have on a canvas suit and have 2 shirts… I have no baggage which I do not carry on my back… But I am seeing all the actualities of campaigning.”

July 1

Remington witnesses the Battle of San Juan Hill, outside of Santiago; as the American forces approach a victory with heavy casualties, Remington writes from his position at the rear of the lines: “All the broken spirits, bloody bodies, hopeless, helpless suffering which drags its weary length to the rear, as so much more appalling than anything else in the world. Men half naked, men sitting down on the road utterly spent, men hopping on one foot with a rifle for a crutch, men out of their minds from sunstroke, men dead, and men dying.” Remington sees the hell, not the glory, of war.

July 10

Remington arrives back in New Rochelle to rest after his Cuban sojourn.

September

Remington travels to Wyoming and stays as a guest of Buffalo Bill Cody at the TE Ranch, hunting and painting with Cody’s protÈgÈ, R. Farrington Elwell.

September 15

The First Volunteer Infantry, or “Rough Riders,” are mustered out of the service; the troops present a copy of Remington’s bronze Bronco Buster to their leader, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, who writes Remington: “I have long looked hungrily at that bronze, but to have it come to me in this precise way seemed almost too good. There could have been no more appropriate gift from such a regiment.”

November 5

Remington writes the illustrator Howard Pyle: “Just got back from a trip to Colorado and New Mexico. Trying to improve my color. Think I have made headway. Color is great—it isn’t so great as drawing and neither are in it with Imagination. Without that a fellow is out of luck.

December 3

Remington copyrights his sculpture, The Wicked Pony, which he had begun modeling in 1896, and the bronze goes on sale at Tiffany’s for $250; only six copies are ultimately sold.