Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné II, edited by Peter H. Hassrick, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2016, $75
Frederic Remington hailed from, lived in and did most of his work in the East. But the famed illustrator, painter and sculptor immortalized the American West. Remington (1861–1909) was best known for his depictions of frontier soldiers, Indians, cowboys, landscapes, horses and wildlife. He influenced such notable contemporaries as Charlie Russell and Charles Schreyvogel, rendered program covers for Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West and was friends with The Virginian novelist Owen Wister and President Theodore Roosevelt.
In Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné II, published in cooperation with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyo., editor Peter Hassrick has compiled not only a comprehensive examination of Russell’s flat work—more than 150 figures and 100 color plates—but also seven articles from art scholars, including Hassrick himself, that analyze Remington’s career.
Hassrick opens with a look at the challenges collectors and historians face at authenticating the works of the “pictorial historian of the Great West” who is “one of the most imitated and faked in all of American art.” Laura F. Fry discusses the “shared imagery” of Remington and Buffalo Bill. Melissa W. Speidel chronicles the legacies of Remington and Howard Pyle, another notable artist from the golden age of illustration, known primarily for his pirate illustrations. Doyle L. Buhler focuses on Remington as a hunter, while B. Byron Price tackles him as an equine artist, Ron Tyler illustrates the artist’s admiration for “men with the bark on,” and Sarah E. Boehme brings light to Remington’s often overlooked stay in Taos, New Mexico Territory, in 1900. “In his paintings after 1900,” Boehme writes, “Frederic Remington brought a more contemplative and romantic approach to his interpretations.”
What’s missing is a bio of Remington for the casual reader, but this book—which showcases several select “signature works”—is sure to please Remington aficionados. Each book includes a key code granting access to the companion website, which highlights over 3,000 reproductions of the artist’s flatworks, including the original Catalogue Raisonné (1996) and almost 300 previously unknown or rediscovered works.
—Johnny D. Boggs