Frederic Remington

Frederic Remington was an American painter, illustrator, and sculptor. He was known for his illustrations of the Spanish-American War, bronze sculptures, and his evocative depictions of the American West.

Early days

Frederic Sackrider Remington was born on October 4, 1861, in Canton, New York. His father, Seth Pierre, was a Republican newspaper publisher who also was a colonel in the U.S. Cavalry and a Civil War commander. His mother was Clara Sackrider.

As Frederic grew up, he enjoyed hunting and was an avid horseman. He attended Highland Military Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts, through his high school years. He then enrolled in the Yale College of Art, but found he preferred playing football over studying.

When his father died in 1880, Frederic went home. With an uncle's help, he found a clerical position in the state capital. In 1882, he published a cartoon in Harper’s Weekly. Frederic was not a fan of commercialized art; he believed publishers sacrificed art and truth to show action and sensationalism.

In 1884, Frederic met Evan Caten, whom he asked to marry him, but she refused. He elected to move west to Kansas, then opened a hardware store and salon. He visited New York a few years later, and asked Eva to marry him again; she refused the second time as well. The following year, Frederic returned to New York once more. He again asked Eva to marry him; this time, she agreed. The couple married in 1884 and moved to Brooklyn, New York.

Flourishing artwork

In 1886, Remington attended the Arts Students League in New York City. In 1888, some of his illustrations appeared in Theodore Roosevelt’s serialized articles for Century Magazine, which were later published as Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail.

Remington is famous for his depictions of life in the American West. He visited the vast, varied region for only a few months at a time, but captured its flavor before civilization took over — both the land and its inhabitants.

In 1898, Remington became an illustrator and correspondent during the Spanish-American War. He worked on the New York Journal owned by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. He found he did not like being in the midst of the war, and requested to be recalled. However, Hearst wanted more output and kept Frederic there. Following that disenchantment, Remington went on to sculpting.

Remington was later sent to cover the famous assault on San Juan Hill by Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. He created the sculpture, "The Bronco-buster," which was given by the Rough Riders to their commander when they disbanded.

Enduring fame

Frederick Remington died in his home in New Rochelle, New York, on December 26, 1909. The cause of death was complications of an appendectomy. He was 48 years old.

In 1991, the PBS series, American Masters, filmed a documentary of Remington's life, entitled, "Frederic Remington: The Truth of Other Days."

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