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Sid Richardson Museum Presents "Frederic Remington: Altered States"

August 24,2017

Reposted from Benzinga

It has been said that perhaps no other American painter has been more copied than Frederic Remington. The Sid Richardson Museum's exhibition "Frederic Remington: Altered States" tells the provocative story of three paintings from the museum's collection that were altered after completion — one demonstrates an artist's change, one demonstrates fraudulency and one remains a mystery — and explores the ways in which scholarship and scientific conservation methods have contributed to the discovery of those alterations.

"Frederic Remington: Altered States" is one in a series of the Sid Richardson Museum's "Guests of Honor" focus exhibitions that assemble a small selection from the permanent collection with loaned works from other collections. This particular exhibition mines three Remington paintings from the museum's collection, supported with two loaned books and two loaned bronzes to demonstrate the ways in which the artist and others modified Remington's work.

"This is an exhibition for anyone who loves a mystery," says Mary Burke, director of the Sid Richardson Museum. "It's also an opportunity to see into the mind of an artist and observe the ways in which Remington sought to improve his compositions."

Highlights of "Frederic Remington: Altered States" 

  • "He Rushed the Pony Right to the Barricade" (ca. 1900) is a black-and-white oil painting that was published in Remington's novel, "The Way of an Indian." Much later, someone other than the artist painted over the canvas with color. Through a combined effort of connoisseurship and science, the overpainting was discovered. The altered painting is displayed in the gallery with an edition of the book in which the original illustration appears.
  • "The Thunder-Fighters Would Take Their Bows and Arrows, Their Guns, Their Magic Drum." Originally produced to illustrate the 1892 edition of Francis Parkman's book "The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life," the painting on exhibit has a different number of figures than that of the illustration. A displayed edition of Parkman's "The Oregon Trail" allows visitors to see how Remington reworked the composition in order to remarket his painting.
  • "The Way Post," attributed to Frederic Remington (ca. 1881), a watercolor and gouache on paper, is signed with initials using a signature style Remington used occasionally as a young artist. However, conservation studies suggest that the signature initials were applied at a later date, possibly by someone else.
  • Visitors can examine two different castings of Remington's bronze "The Rattlesnake." With a preference for refining his work, Remington often modified his bronze casts, and in the case of "The Rattlesnake," after 11 castings of the smaller model were produced, Remington significantly altered and enlarged the sculpture.

Opening Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, "Frederic Remington: Altered States" runs concurrently with the museum's current "Legacy" exhibition through Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

On exhibition since June 25, 2016, "Legacy" depicts the clash of cultures of the 19th century American West. The legacy of conflicts among cowboys, soldiers, explorers and Indigenous Americans during westward expansion continues to impact America today. Notable additions to the exhibit loaned from private collections include Remington bronzes "The Cheyenne" and "The Broncho Buster," which was the first of his subjects to be cast in bronze.


Location Mentioned: Sid Richardson Museum