Timeline

The timeline below presents the major events in the life of Frederic Remington, including the people he knew, the places he frequented, and the institutions where he worked, showed his art, and viewed works by other artists. Remington’s life has been chronicled in Peter H. Hassrick and Melissa J. Webster’s Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings, the Carter’s previous Remington-Russell Timeline; the museum’s publication Homer | Remington; and the Frederic Remington Art Museum’s website. The information cited in this chronology is based on these earlier chronologies unless otherwise noted; additional sources include the archived papers of Remington and other artists, as well as numerous scholarly and popular publications.

1860s and 70s

1861

Frederic Sackrider Remington is born in Canton, New York, on October 4, the only child of Seth Pierre Remington (1834–1880), owner and editor of a local newspaper, and Clara Bascomb Sackrider Remington (1836–1912), known for her exquisite needlework.jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. Peggy Samuels and Harold Samuels, Frederic Remington: A Biography (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1982), 8. Some sources give Seth Remington’s middle name as Pierrepont; see Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. 8 (1918), s.v. “Remington, Frederic.”

1865

Major Seth Remington returns to Canton after serving with distinction in the Union army.

1873

In August, the Remington family moves to Ogdensburg, New York, near the Canadian border.

1875

In August, Remington enters Vermont Episcopal Institute, a military school in Burlington, Vermont.

1876–78

Attends Highland Military Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1878–80

Attends three semesters at Yale University School of Fine Arts; discontinues his studies when his father dies in 1880.

1879

In August, Remington meets his future wife, Eva Adele Caten (1859–1918), in Canton, New York, where she is a student at St. Lawrence University.

1880s

1880

Remington and his mother move back to Canton. He subsequently obtains a political job in Albany as chief clerk in the Department of Public Instruction and relocates there.

Remington’s father dies on February 18; Frederic does not return to Yale.

1881

Travels to the West for the first time to the Montana Territory in August and September; he takes the Northern Pacific Railway to its terminus in western Dakota Territory and then the stage to Fort Keogh in Miles City, Montana. From there, he goes by horseback to visit cattle ranches and goldfields. During the trip, he pays a visit to the Little Bighorn battlefield.

1882

In August, vacations at Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks, where he will return frequently during the 1890s.

1883

Tries sheep farming in Peabody, Kansas, financed by his inheritance; the venture lasts less than a year.

1884

In the spring, Remington moves to Kansas City, Missouri, and becomes part-owner of a hardware store and a saloon; the saloon fails by August 1885.

In October, Remington and Eva Adele Caten marry in Gloversville, New York. Eva accompanies her husband to Kansas City.

Eva returns to Gloversville in December, disillusioned by life in the West and her husband’s prospects.

1885

In March, sells the sketch Ejecting an ‘Oklahoma Boomer’ and an accompanying essay to Harper’s Weekly.

Moves with his wife to Brooklyn, New York, in September. Is hired as a staff artist at Harper’s Weekly.

1886

On January 9, The Apache War—Indian Scouts on Geronimo’s Trail (ca. 1886) appears on the cover of Harper’s Weekly.

From March through May, Remington attends Art Students League in Manhattan, where Julian Alden Weir, William Merritt Chase, and Kenyon Cox instruct students in painting.

In June, he visits Mexico and the U.S. Territories of Arizona and New Mexico for Harper’s Weekly; takes photographs of various subjects for later reference and meets Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke, who becomes a source for Remington of props for paintings and anecdotes for articles. Remington will travel to the western U.S. and Mexico almost every year for the rest of his life.

1887

In August, Theodore Roosevelt suggests Remington illustrate Roosevelt’s upcoming Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine serial Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail.jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. Allen P. Splete and Marilyn D. Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988), 38.

1888

Four of his paintings are published as photogravures in Picturesque California, edited by the naturalist John Muir.

In the spring, his painting Return of a Blackfoot War Party (1887) is exhibited at the National Academy of Design. Remington also wins the Hallgarten Prize for young artists. He will show his work regularly at the National Academy of Design’s spring and fall shows until 1899.jump to citation[x]

In June and July, takes a monthlong trip to the Southwest on commission for Century Magazine. On July 1, while on the way home, he writes Eva:

“spent a day in Fort Worth ... —had a devil of a time—the mosquitoes like to have eaten me up— ... and oh oh oh how hot it is here—I have sweat and sweat my clothes full—I can fairly smell myself—I am dirty and look like the devil and feel worse and there is no help for me. Well you can bet I am going to make the dust fly and get through as soon as I can—This is a miserable little frontier town with a little hen coop of a hotel—I am nearly starved to death—this Texas grub is something frightful ... —I full agree with Phil Sheridan, ‘If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell.’”jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. Eliot Clark, History of the National Academy of Design, 1825–1953 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1954), 282–83. Return of a Blackfoot War Party is now in the collection of the American Museum of Western Art, Anschutz Collection.
  2. Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters, 52, 60.

1889

Exhibits five oil paintings at the 1889 Paris World’s Fair in the spring.

That summer, he vacations at Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks, less than 100 miles from the North Woods Club, a private association dedicated to the sporting life.

In the fall, exhibits A Dash for the Timber (1889) at the National Academy of Design; a reviewer in the New York Herald declares that it “marks an advance on the part of one of the strongest of our younger artists, who is one of the best illustrators we have.”jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. “At the Academy of Design," New York Herald, November 16, 1889.

In December, visits Montreal and the Canadian North Woods to go moose hunting with the journalist and prominent outdoor enthusiast Julian Ralph.

Purchases a house (which he later names Endion) on three acres in New Rochelle, close to New York City.

1890s

1890

Begins socializing with members of the American impressionist painters’ group The Ten.jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. For more on Remington’s associations with The Ten, see Jennifer R. Henneman, “One Degree of Separation: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington in New York City,” in Homer – Remington (New Haven, C.T.: Yale University Press, in association with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth Texas), 65–83.

1891

Remington joins the Players Club, a private social club founded in New York City by the actor Edwin Booth.

On January 31, The New York Times reviews the American Water Color Society exhibition: “Mr. Frederic Remington has a negro cavalryman of the United States Army charging along, with his sabre at an awkward angle. Man and horse are equally ugly; the color scheme is aggressive, as if the blinding light of the plains permitted no other alternative.”jump to citation[x]

In March, he travels with Eva to Mexico as the guest of General Nelson Miles to attend a troop review of the Mexican army; Remington returns to the U.S. by way of Cuba. Harper’s Weekly publishes his two illustrated articles about the trip.jump to citation[x]

In June, Remington is elected associate member of the National Academy of Design.

Citations

  1. “The Water Colors,” New York Times, January 31, 1891.
  2. Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters, 113.

1892

F. Hopkinson Smith writes that Remington is:

“as unique with his brush as Rudyard Kipling is with his pen. ... If Muybridge taught us the true movements of animals ..., Remington is the first man who has utilized these discoveries in his work. ... [He] saw these movements in a horse long before he ever heard of Muybridge ..., he was doing unconsciously what no other painter, either here or abroad, had ever conceived or attempted. ... What makes Remington’s Indian sketches so real and so fine are [sic] that he knows it all himself; has slept on the plains many a night, his eyes asleep and his ears awake; loaded a pack mule even to the final ‘cinch,’ and crawled over the divide a dozen times with a lot of red devils skulking within rifle shot.”jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. F. Hopkinson Smith, American Illustrators, 5 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1892), vol. 2, 22–25.

In May, the Society of American Artists, New York City, exhibits A Cavalryman’s Breakfast on the Plains (1892).

On assignment for Harper’s, Remington travels to Russia to canoe down the Volga River with the journalist Poultney Bigelow; the two men run afoul of Russian immigration authorities, who force them to abandon the project. Remington visits Germany, Prussia, France, and England before returning to the United States.jump to citation[x]

In July, he takes a five-day, 50-mile canoe trip on the Oswegatchie River in Upstate New York; stories and sketches from the trip are published in “Black Water and Shallows” in Harper’s Monthly.jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters, 129–139.
  2. Frederic Remington, “Black Water and Shallows,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, August 1893, 449–55.

1893

First solo exhibition and sale at American Art Galleries in New York City January 6 through 13; writes to Powhatan Clarke on January 24, “I made $7300 at my sale. It was a rather good sale—a decided art triumph as people and the papers say and will in its ramifications be of benefit to me. I have since many orders.”jump to citation[x]

Exhibits 15 watercolors at the World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair) from May to October and receives an award; stops at the fair in August on his way back from North Dakota: “It’s the biggest thing that was ever put up on this rolling sphere.”jump to citation[x]

On September 8, he meets author and historian Owen Wister in Yellowstone National Park; they begin to discuss possible collaborations.

Citations

  1. Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters, 162.
  2. “World’s Fair Awards to American Artists.” The New York Evening Post, August 19, 1893. Remington’s award was also a bronze medal, given to him and fourteen other artists who showed works in black and white. Letter from Frederic Remington to Poultney Bigelow, August 19, 1893 in Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington – Selected Letters, 244.

1894

Beaux-arts sculptor Frederick Wellington Ruckstull, who trained in Paris at the Académie Julian, invites Remington to his New York studio, where his interest in the medium is piqued.

From February through April,  Remington travels to Algeria with Poultney Bigelow on assignment for Harper’s Weekly.

1895

In July, Remington’s first book, Pony Tracks, a collection of short stories inspired by his western experiences, is published.

Remington’s first sculpture, The Broncho Buster (1895), is cast in bronze by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company in October.

In November, Remington has his second solo exhibition and sale at American Art Galleries in New York.

 

1896

Spends time in the Adirondacks and areas along the Saint Lawrence River doing pastel sketches; these color studies reflect the influence of French and American impressionists.

1897

In December, he has an exhibition at Hart & Watson, Boston. One critic appreciates Remington’s “keen eye for reality and movement” but finds fault in his “indifference to beauty of form, his unfeeling realism, and his poverty of color.”jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. “The Fine Arts: Paintings and Drawings by Frederic Remington,” Boston Evening Transcript, December 8, 1897.

1898

In June and July, Remington travels to Cuba to cover the Spanish-American War for Harper’s Weekly and the New York Journal.

1899

In April, he leaves Harper’s Weekly and begins illustrating for Collier’s Weekly.

In April and May, the National Academy of Design includes his painting Missing (ca. 1899) in their spring exhibition.jump to citation[x]

Becomes interested in nocturnal images after seeing the work of California painter Charles Rollo Peters, known as the “Prince of Darkness” for his explorations of night scenes.

That July and August, Remington sketches night scenes on a trip to Montana and Wyoming.

Citations

  1. Missing is now in the collection of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, acc. no. 0126.638.

1900s

1900

In March, moves sculpture production to Roman Bronze Works in Brooklyn; over the next 10 years, collaborates with founder Riccardo Bertelli to explore the possibilities of lost-wax casting.

In April, Remington begins modeling The Cheyenne. He describes the sculpture to writer Owen Wister as an:

“Indian & a pony which is burning the air—I think & hope he wont fall off as I did—he has a very teetery seat and I am nervous about even mud riders.”jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters, 296.

Begins fixing up a five-acre summer retreat on Ingleneuk Island in Chippewa Bay on the Saint Lawrence River that May.

On June 24, Yale awards Remington a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The painter and dean of the Yale School of Art, John Ferguson Weir, proposed that Remington be awarded the degree.

1901

From June 17 through October 31, two bronzes—The Broncho Buster (1895) and The Wounded Bunkie (1896)—along with 10 paintings or prints, including Field Hospital at Bloody Ford (1898) and Infantry Charge in the Philippines (ca. 1899), are exhibited at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. “Art at the Pan-American.” The exhibition catalogue lists the sculptures as nos. 1642 and 1643. The other ten works include three oils (no. 1191, A Tragedy of the Plains, ca. 1895; no. 1276, “She was Keep off Jus’ Front ‘ave Mee Pony”, 1898; and no. 919, Texas Ranger Holding Up Chapperel Bandits, 1896—the last two in black and white); and seven of unknown medium (no. 356, The Forsyth Fight, also called Forsythe’s Fight on the Republican River, 1868—The Charge of Roman Nose, ca. 1897; no. 991, Rainy Season in the Tropics [or Philippines]—Soldiers Messing, ca. 1899; no. 1141, The Storming of Fort Ticonderoga, ca. 1896; no. 1155, When a Document is Official, date unknown; no. 1190, Infantry Charge in the Philippines; no. 1248, Field Hospital at Bloody Ford; and no. 1467, Satisfying Justice in Arizona, date unknown). Most of these works have been lost. The only one with a known location is “She was Keep off Jus’ Front ‘ave Mee Pony,” currently in the ‘21’ Club Collection, New York. The Forsyth Fight was destroyed. See https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo1.ark:/13960/t9x06p311;view=1up;seq=80.

1902

Remington works at the Roman Bronze Works foundry on the model for Coming Through the Rye; he writes Owen Wister to say:

“I go to the Roman Bronze Works—275 Green Street, Greenpoint— Brooklyn—leaving here every morning at 8:20 am to work out a four horse bronze and I reach this above oasis at 6 p.m.—eat—smoke go to bed and day after day I am to do this until I die or complete the bronze.”jump to citation[x]

In March, Remington writes Riccardo Bertelli at Roman Bronze Works to say that he has modeled “the bunch” [Coming Through the Rye], and wants someone to come up to New Rochelle and put the model in plaster. In another letter the same month he writes: “I have reconstructed the right hand man and made it much better with a foot on the ground. So—now I have six horses’ feet on the ground and 10 in the air.jump to citation[x]

John Ermine of the Yellowstone debuts in November; it’s Remington’s second novel, but the first to be published.

Citations

  1. Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters, 300.
  2. Splete and Splete, Frederic Remington—Selected Letters, 322.

1903

In May, he receives contract from Collier’s Weekly. Collier’s agrees to reproduce 12 paintings a year of Remington’s choice for $1,000 per painting.jump to citation[x]

In September, a play based on John Ermine of the Yellowstone opens in Boston; it travels to New York City in November.

Citations

  1. Entries in Remington’s diaries indicate that the arrangement continued until early 1909; see Jennifer Henneman,“One Degree of Separation,” Homer – Remington.

1904

On July 30, Remington copyrights his sculpture The Sergeant; Riccardo Bertelli of Roman Bronze Works had suggested the idea of doing a smaller, less expensive work; Remington terms it his “Rough Rider Sergeant,” and the work retails for $50.

1905

The nine bronzes included in Remington’s solo exhibition at M. Knoedler & Co., New York, in January, “do not seem to draw the crowd.”jump to citation[x] Remington secures annual solo shows at Knoedler through 1909.jump to citation[x]

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, purchases two bronzes in January, the first works by Remington to enter a museum collection.

Citations

  1. “Art News Here and There,” New York Times, April 16, 1905.
  2. M. Knoedler & Co. sales ledgers for 1905–10 at the J. Paul Getty Trust, at http://archives2.getty.edu:8082/xtf/view?docId=ead/2012.M.54/2012.M.54.xml;chunk.id=aspace_ref5605_vn2.

1906

Critics admire the nocturnes in Remington’s solo exhibition at M. Knoedler & Co.:

“It is a softened and harmonized Remington we find this year, his pictures having atmosphere and looking for all the world as if he had been abroad, studying the delicate aerial niceties we find in Corot and Mauve, Pissaro [sic] and Le Sidaner. It is true that he takes the shades of night to help him to those tones of mystery which most of his previous pictures lacked.”jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. “A Closed Chapter of Life,” New York Times, December 23, 1906.

1907

The Metropolitan Museum of Art accepts three Remington bronzes into its collection: The Cheyenne (1901), The Mountain Man (1903), and The Old Dragoons of 1850 (1905).

1908

On June 20, Remington’s only monumental outdoor sculpture, The Cowboy (1908), is unveiled in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park.jump to citation[x]

In December, Remington exhibits 19 works at the Knoedler Galleries, including five pure landscape studies—the first he has ever exhibited; two of the paintings are The Grass Fire and The Long-Horn Cattle Sign.jump to citation[x]

Citations

  1. The Cowboy was commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art).
  2. Nancy K. Anderson, Frederic Remington: The Color of Night (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, in association with the National Gallery of Art, 2003), 13–14.

1909

In January, Remington has a solo exhibition at Doll & Richards Gallery, Boston. Writes in his journal, “Boston papers give me hell. I never got such a roasting in my life. ... Bostonians call moonlights ‘monochromes,’ and doubtful they will call for Freddie again.”jump to citation[x]

Moves to a new house in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in May.

That summer, he participates in the annual summer exhibition at M. Knoedler & Co. with one of his “characteristic pictures.”jump to citation[x]

Paints landscapes while vacationing in Quebec province.

Dies at age 48 on December 26 of complications following an appendectomy.

Citations

  1. Frederic Remington diary entries, January 12 and 14, 1909, transcription from Frederic Remington papers at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, box 1, Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg, N.Y.
  2. “American Artists at Knoedler’s,” American Art News, July 17, 1909, 6

Citations