The Frederic Remington Art Museum is an art museum focuses on the work of Frederic Remington. The Frederic Remington Art Museum expands and deepens appreciation and understanding of Remington’s work by engaging contemporary audiences and keeping his legacy relevant.
The Frederic Remington Art Museum, located at 303 Washington Street in Ogdensburg, New York, houses a comprehensive collection of original Remington paintings, sketches and sculptures, as well as a broad array of personal effects and correspondence that serve to bring the artist and his vision to life.
The depth and breadth of the museum’s Remington holdings is unmatched. The great majority of items came directly from Eva Remington’s 1918 estate. They include annotated scrapbooks, endless pages of notes, photographs – even the cigars that were in his pocket before he died. Much of this Eva Remington certainly retained for posterity. The artist’s library is displayed on the second floor of the historic house with other Remington estate furniture. The visitor is treated to an exhibit of fine art from the Remington home in the room that was once George Hall’s dining room. On the way to the art galleries, one can see Remington’s easel, paintbrushes and sculpting stand, and also such diverse items as his hockey stick and his elk’s tooth cuff-links.
Frederic Remington (1861-1909) is best known for his art depicting the cowboys, soldiers and Native Americans of the Old West. A native of Canton, New York, Remington found inspiration in these subjects from an early age.
His career took off in the mid-1880s when he began making western illustrations for Harper’s Weekly and many other widely read New York magazines. Remington’s pictures brought visual information to the eastern public accompanying both factual accounts and fiction of the Old West. He was praised and trusted for the accuracy of detail in his work. Many people assumed, and still assume, that he was a westerner, if not, in fact, a soldier or a cowboy himself. In truth, he was an easterner who was as fascinated by the subjects he depicted as his audience was.
Frederic Remington traveled west repeatedly. He loved the idea of the frontier and greatly admired the rough and heroic cowboys and soldiers he met there. He enjoyed meeting them, hearing their stories and following their lives in his visits as a journalist/illustrator. Among other things, he admired them for seeming undaunted by the many elements of frontier life that Remington himself could barely tolerate – poor and scarce “grub,” long rides in the saddle, and extended periods between baths.
On these trips, Remington collected innumerable materials to use as props to create convincingly detailed illustrations, paintings and bronzes in his studio in New Rochelle, New York. He took a camera and made his own photographs, not as art, but as notes. He bought hundreds of widely available western landscapes and portraits of Native Americans. He carried notebooks and sketched everything from distant horizons to the details of creases on leather boots.
He worked for the great magazines of the 1880s and 1890s, creating images of soldiers, cowboys and Indians that shaped the world’s perception of the American west. He produced over 3,000 signed paintings and drawings. Most of them were illustrations, but many were made as art as he turned away from the publishing world and accomplished masterful art. Today, he may be best known for his sculptures, which he began in 1895 with The Broncho Buster.
He created 22 different subjects in bronze before his death at 48. His worked on increasingly sophisticated artistic goals in his paintings, moving toward impressionism.
Many of Remington’s best-known sculptures and oil paintings can be found in the Albert Priest Newell Gallery. Changing exhibits of his North Country and Canadian watercolors, sketches, and illustrations hang in the Addie Priest Newell Gallery. Personal possessions, studio equipment, and memorabilia are displayed throughout the museum.
The Eva Caten Remington Education Center is adjacent to the Museum in another historic building. The Education Center contains interactive exhibits and activity space designed to engage museum visitors of all ages in an exploration of Remington’s life and art.
Open year-round, the Museum offers many programs for the public, including school tours, gallery talks, exhibit openings and workshops. Directions on how to find us.
The main building of the Frederic Remington Art Museum was built in 1810 by David Parish, an early developer of large tracts of land in St. Lawrence County and a prominent player in the shipping and lumber industry. He resided in the home until 1816 when he returned to Europe. Other Parish family members followed and occupied the property into the 1860s.
After Frederic Remington’s death in 1909, this home became the residence of his wife, Eva. This was made possible through the generosity of Ogdensburg industrialist, George Hall, and the Remington’s friend, John Howard. Eva lived here with her sister, Emma, from 1915 to 1918. The Museum was founded as the Remington Art Memorial in 1923. The original collection, which was derived from the estates of Eva and Emma, included Frederic’s sculptures, oil paintings, family possessions, personal art collection and studio contents.
The building currently housing the museum was built in 1810 by David Parish. Although he only lived in the home until 1816, other members of his family occupied it up until the 1860s. After Frederic Remington died in 1909, his wife Eva moved into the house as a guest of Frederic’s friend George Hall in 1915 and lived there with her sister until her death in 1918. In 2008, the building started to undergo minor repairs which should be finished before 2011. However, is still open to the public.
Eva Remington’s estate became the Remington Art Memorial in 1923. Since then, the collection has expanded through purchases and donations, and it is now called the Frederic Remington Art Museum.
Since the Museum’s founding, purchases and donations of Remington art and personal artifacts have added significantly to the breadth of this internationally acclaimed collection.
So, though the artist never lived here, the scope of his possessions here, including his working tools; thousands of notes and sketches; the fact that his widow lived here in the house of his friend; and the contemporaneous aesthetic of the place compound to make one feel that this is where Remington is found. The collection of Remington’s paintings, drawings and bronzes, of course, the most important thing we have, but it’s the combination of all the disparate elements that lets you imagine Frederic Remington here, perhaps smoking cigars and drinking whiskey into the night with any member of his elite circle of friends.