The Fall of the Cowboy
Oil on canvas
25 x 35 1/8 in.
signed l.r.: Frederic Remington
Amon G. Carter Collection
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Collection
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.
Remington and RussellFebruary 25–May 24, 2015
This exhibition of paintings and sculptures selected from the Carter’s extensive collection offers visitors an opportunity to gain insight into the works of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, two of the greatest practitioners of the art of the American West.
From Remington to O’Keeffe: The Carter’s Greatest HitsOctober 6, 2018–March 22, 2019
During the renovation, this exhibition features highlights from the permanent collection, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures, by some of America’s most renowned artists.
Mythmakers: The Art of Winslow Homer and Frederic RemingtonDecember 22, 2020–February 28, 2021
American icon Winslow Homer, famous ocean painter, joins Frederic Remington, legendary cowboy artist, for the first exhibition to explore the unexpected resonances and moments of convergence between the themes, artistic sensibilities, and technical processes of these two artists.
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?
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?
Share Educator Resources
Amon Carter Disclaimer
This information is published from the Carter's collection database. Updates and additions based on research and imaging activities are ongoing. The images, titles, and inscriptions are products of their time and are presented here as documentation, not as a reflection of the Carter’s values. If you have corrections or additional information about this object please email us to help us improve our records.
Every effort has been made to accurately determine the rights status of works and their images. Please email us if you have further information on the rights status of a work contrary or in addition to the information in our records.