Amon Carter print details

The Fall of the Cowboy

Frederic Remington (1861-1909)

Object Details

  • Date


  • Object Type


  • Medium

    Oil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    25 x 35 1/8 in.

  • Inscriptions


    signed l.r.: Frederic Remington

  • Collection Name

    Amon G. Carter Collection

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Collection

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Public domain

Object Description

In 1895, Owen Wister wrote “The Evolution of the Cow- Puncher” for Harper’s Monthly. This painting was one of the illustrations accompanying the article. Remington advised Wister to document the gradual end of the cowboy way of life—open ranges were becoming a thing of the past. Remington’s painting has a somber, wistful tone conveyed by the muted colors of a winter scene—a palette in keeping with the artist’s intent to mourn the transformation of cowboy traditions.

While this painting signals the end of the cowboy era, the subject never left the public’s imagination. Though Remington’s paintings and sculptures were perhaps the most widely distributed imagery of his generation, the other works on this wall signify popular desire for western imagery in works of all media.

Additional details

Location: On view
See more by Frederic Remington


Educator Resources
  • How might artists portray mood or emotion in their work?

    What can artists reveal about a culture or society, and what might be missing from the narratives they depict?

    Can artworks be reliable sources of historical information? Why or why not?

    How does an artwork enrich and influence the telling of history?

    How are artists affected by the places and times in which they live?

    How do time and context change the way we think about historical events?

  • What do you see? Describe the people, animals, and the landscape.

    How might these men be feeling? What has happened? How can you tell?

    What has the artist done to create a particular mood or feeling?

    By 1895, the “open range” was closed. How does Remington show us that?

    By 1895, many factors had changed the life and the job of cowboying, particularly the introduction of barbed wire fences. What does this painting tell us about Remington’s feelings about those changes?

    What do you think might be next for these cowboys? 

    Think about the time period. What factors in history have happened to result in the loss of this way of life? What jobs today are becoming obsolete? What factors are causing this?

  • Grades 4–8

    Imagine what it would be like to work with these two men. Write a short paragraph about the experience you might have if you were working alongside them. What job would you do? Why?

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