Timeline

1904
1904

Remington’s monumental plaster statue Off the Range, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis.

1904

Studio portrait of the playwright Louis Shipman, inscribed to Remington.

1905
January

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington purchases two Remington bronzes, Coming Through the Rye and The Mountain Man, the first bronzes to enter a museum collection; the director of the museum writes Remington on February 2: “I think the title “Off the Range” is much more appropriate for the work than “Coming through the Rye,” and I thank you for the suggestion.”

January 16

An exhibition of nine of Remington’s bronzes opens at M. Knoedler & Co. in New York City; the exhibition features a new bronze, The Rattlesnake (copyrighted on January 18), a sculpture that became one of the artist’s favorites; it retails for $325.

March

“A Special Exhibition of Recent Paintings by Frederic Remington” opens at the NoÈ Art Galleries.

March 16

Remington is invited by the Fairmont Park Art Association in Philadelphia to consider creating his first monumental sculpture, The Cowboy.

March 18

Collier’s publishes its “Remington Number,” dedicated to the artist and his work; the artist is photographed standing in front of the large mantel in his studio in New Rochelle; Owen Wister writes an appreciation that says in part: “Remington is not merely an artist; he is a national treasure.” Remington himself writes the following words about his West: “I knew the railroad was coming—I saw men already swarming on to the land… I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever, and the more I considered the subject the bigger the Forever loomed. Without knowing exactly how to do it, I began to try to record some facts around me, and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded… I saw the living, breathing end of three American centuries of smoke and dust and sweat, and I now see quite another thing where it all took place, but it does not appeal to me.”

April 12

Remington writes Leslie Miller, Secretary of the Fairmount Park Association: “After our conversation of yesterday I shall be glad to undertake the bronze cow-boy.

May 13

Remington’s article, “Jefferson as a Painter,” is published in Harper’s Weekly; Remington receives a letter from Leslie Miller, Secretary of the Fairmont Park Art Association, authorizing him to proceed with a “sketch model” of the proposed monumental sculpture.

September 14

Remington writes Eva Remington from Hermosa, South Dakota, on the Cheyenne River: “We came right through. Had dinner with Carter Johnson at [Fort] Robinson and went on to Chadron where we stayed all night. Up here this morning and outfitting today We pull down to Cheyenne and Wyoming tomorrow morning with grub for two weeks—two teams, and one of the boys is named Remington. It’s fine weather here but they say it may turn cold.

October

Remington begins a series of paintings for Collier’s titled “The Great Explorers,” which runs for ten months.

November

Chapters I and II of Remington’s The Way of an Indian are published in Cosmopolitan magazine.

November 1-8

Thirty of Remington’s works are exhibited at the American Art Galleries in New York City as “an important collection of original drawings and paintings by distinguished American painters and illustrators, works especially executed for and exclusively reproduced in Collier’s Weekly;” one of the paintings is His First Lesson (ACM).

November

Portions of Remington’s novel, The Way of an Indian, are serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine prior to its publication the following year by Fox, Duffield & Company; although one reviewer terms it the “best novel by a white man about Indian life,” sales are disappointing.

November 24

Remington writes Leslie Miller, Secretary of the Fairmount Park Art Association: “I have been working on the cow-boy and have the statuette form nearly done[;] in ten days I hope it will be presentable and then I hope to write your committee to run over here and see it. New Rochelle is easily reached from 42nd Street as you doubtless know. I want to save my plasteline and it is so much more satisfactory than a cast, besides if found necessary I can make changes in it.

December

Chapters III and IV of Remington’s The Way of an Indian are published in Cosmopolitan magazine.

December 6

Remington copyrights his sculpture, Dragoons—1850; Tiffany’s lists it as “The Old Dragoons” for $2,500.

December 19

The selection committee from the Fairmont Park Art Association visits Remington’s studio in New Rochelle to examine the plasteline model of The Cowboy.

December 20

Just before Christmas Remington is visited by Charles Shepard Chapman, a young illustrator; Remington tells him of his frustration in his inability to paint effectively in color: “The only reason I can find is that I’ve worked too long in black and white. I know fine color when I see it but I just don’t get it and it’s maddening. I’m going to if I only live long enough.”

Ca. 1905

Studio portrait of Remington; photo by Davis and Langford, New York City

Ca. 1905

Studio portrait of Eva Caten Remington; photo by Davis and Sanford, New York City

Ca. 1905

View of Remington’s studio in New Rochelle, New York.

Ca. 1905

Remington painting in his studio at Endion, his home in New Rochelle, New York.

1906
January

Chapters V and VI of Remington’s The Way of an Indian are published in Cosmopolitan magazine.

January 16

Remington hears the good news that the Fairmont Park Art Association has approved the creation of the monumental statue of The Cowboy, at a price of $20,000. The same day he writes Leslie Miller, the Secretary of the Fairmount Park Art Association: “I have concluded to build a new studio on the back end of my place where I can work to better advantage and I want to begin on that immediately because I will do nothing until that is ready.

February

Chapter VII of Remington’s The Way of an Indian is published in Cosmopolitan magazine.

February 5

Remington’s fourth and last painting exhibition opens at NoÈ Art Galleries.

February 20

Theodore Roosevelt writes Remington: “It may be true that no white man ever understood an Indian, but at any rate you convey the impression of understanding him! I have done what I very rarely do—that is read a serial story—and I have followed every chapter of “The Way of an Indian” as it came out. I am very much pleased to have the inscribed volume from you now… You know I have appointed to office in the West, and in the case of Bat Masterson in the East, a number of the very men whose types you have permanently preserved with pencil and pen; and curiously enough, I have also appointed a few Indians to office, and one to West Point.

February 27

Remington’s book, The Way of an Indian, is published by Fox, Duffield, & Company.

March 24

Richard Watson Gilder, Editor of The Century Magazine, writes Remington: “I went the other day to see those ripping bronzes of yours. They are all thoroughly alive and thoroughly original. There was one that impressed me especially, as it had more beauty than some of the others, though they all have the beauty of life. I mean the solitary Indian with his arm up [The Scalp], apparently shouting defiance to the whole tribe of the paleface. What do you call that one? You seem to sum up the wildman’s attitude in that one gesture; and the horse in that is especially fine.

May

After being shown around Ridgefield, Connecticut by the painter Julian Alden Weir, Remington purchases thirty acres of land upon which to build a new house and studio.

September

Remington begins the rough “throwing up” of the working clay model for The Cowboy.

December

Remington begins exhibiting his work at the Knoedler Gallery, New York

December 20

The painter Childe Hassam writes Remington: “I went to your show and I think they are all the best things I’ve seen of yours—for sure! You are sure to have lots of success with them too. Nobody else can do them—I don’t remember titles but I was interested in the coach coming down hill [A Taint on the Wind (Sid Richardson Collection)], the only thing to say in criticism is your stars look ‘stuck on’ and your foreground cast shadows are a bit black. Too much paint for stars perhaps too much pigment I mean and your shadows probably look lighter by daylight. My congratulations old top!

1907
February 8

Remington notes in his diary that he “Burned every old canvas in house to day out in the snow. About 75—and there is nothing left but my landscape studies.”

February 11

The Fairmont Park Art Association committee visits Remington’s studio in New Rochelle; on February 14 it approves the artist’s working model for The Cowboy.

March 7

The final clay model of The Cowboy is converted into a plaster replica and sent to Roman Bronze Works for storage.

March 8

Remington receives a letter from the sculptor Daniel Chester French informing him that four of his bronzes have been accepted into the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; one week later Tiffany’s delivers casts of Remington’s Bronco Buster, Cheyenne, Old Dragoons, and the Mountain Man to the museum.

April 2

Remington travels west by train to Texas, New Mexico, then to Colorado.

April 8

Remington writes Eva Remington from El Paso, Texas: “Everything promises well—some R.R. people here are sending a man with us 80 miles… to Alamogordo and tomorrow morning we go 8000 feet up Superstition Mountain to Cloudcroft and we are promised a 40 mile trip to the Mescalero Apache reservation.

April 13

Remington writes Eva Remington from Cloudcroft, New Mexico: “We are back from Cloudcroft and go to Grand Canyon Arizona tonight… I made 7 sketches at Cloudcroft & 2 sunsets at Alamogordo and we are to drive up the river here today to sketch the water.

May 6

Remington lunches in New York with Buffalo Bill and sees the Wild West Show.

May 7

Remington completes the model for The Horse Thief and shows it to Riccardo Bertelli at Roman Bronze Works; the statue is copyrighted on May 22.

June-August

Remington paints twelve paintings for Collier’s; he also makes oil studies outdoors and at night by moonlight.

September 10

Remington returns to his studio in New Rochelle and begins modeling a complicated composition, The Buffalo Horse; he copyrights the sculpture on December 12 as “a bull buffalo reared on hind legs with pony on his nigh shoulder being tossed and above all the Indian rider being hurled upwards with hands and one toe in contact with the pony;” only one cast is sold.

September 12

Work begins on a large sculpting studio at New Rochelle for Remington to enlarge the model for The Cowboy himself, rather than having others do it as most sculptors do; the studio is 25 x 17 feet, with a 17-foot ceiling; one end of the studio opens to accommodate a flatcar on a track that can roll the sculpture outdoors whenever Remington wants to adjust the model in the daylight.

October 31

The sculpture studio is completed and the basic armature and rough clay model has been prepared over the previous month; Remington ascends the scaffolding and ladders to begin the finish modeling of The Cowboy.

December 2-14

Remington exhibits twelve works at the Knoedler Galleries; reviews are mixed, with the strongest critical praise reserved for his nocturnal scenes.

December 12

Remington writes Leslie Miller, Secretary of the Fairmount Park Art Association: “The cow-boy goes ahead all right and I expect I shall want you to look at it about the first of the year. I built a studio on my place here with a track to run it out on and I find the track of the greatest advantage. I think without it I could never have done the work. The hard lights of indoors are so different from the diffused light of outdoors that it looks like two statues. It is on a car and on a turn table and this turn table is so small that I do not dare take it outdoors when there is any wind for fear of its overturning… It would give you no proper idea at all to see it in the studio—it is 12 feet x 2 1/2 feet by 25 ft. up on the car… We work on ladders and only work from our impressions as we remember them after seeing it outdoors… I am trying to give you a Remington broncho and am not following the well known recipe of sculptors for making a horse. I intended to do this from the first and believe I am succeeding.

December 26

The Fairmont Park Art Association Committee travels to New Rochelle to see the completed clay model of The Cowboy; Remington writes in his diary that “The committee approved my Fairmont Cow Boy… The people were enthusiastic about my model—one man asked me to think up an Indian subject. I am tickled to death.”