While Frederic Remington’s art portrays the American West, Remington was born in Canton, New York. Frederic grew up during the Civil War hearing epics from his father of his life in the cavalry.
The son of a newspaper publisher, in 1878 Remington entered Yale School of Fine Arts, where he also played football. After one year, his father died, and he was unable to continue to pay for tuition. He moved to Montana to try out life on a ranch. Two months later, he bought a sheep ranch in Kansas. A year later, Remington married his childhood sweetheart, Eva Adele Caten, in 1884 and moved to Kansas City to invest in a hardware store and a saloon. From there, he traveled west. He found jobs as a cowboy, ranch hand, lumberjack, and gold miner in Apache country in Arizona.
He began drawing sketches of the fascinating scenes he saw, of cowboys, Indians and horses. He made his first big sale to “Harper’s Weekly.” He also sent illustrations back to “Outing Magazine,” “Harper’s Weekly,” and “Scribners.” As publishers printed his photo, eastern Americans were fascinated, and sales of magazines went up whenever a Frederic Remington print was between the pages. Soon, he gained a reputation. He was asked to illustrated articles written by Theodore Roosevelt for “Century Magazine” and for Frances Parkman’s novel, “Oregon Trail.” During the Spanish American War, he was an artist-correspondent in Cuba.
Remington was intrigued by horses and took many photos of them in a roll film box camera. In 1895, he began working in bronze and cast his famous work, “The Bronco Buster.” Soon, sculpting became his passion, and he did less and less painting. For his bronze sculpture, he used the foundry Roman Bronze Works, the first foundry in the United States to devote itself exclusively to the age-old lost wax method. His work was noted for action — each piece contained cowboys, Indians horses, soldiers conquering the American West. During his lifetime, Remington created about 25 bronzes with the most famous being “The Bronco Buster”, and one of the largest being the cowboy statue for Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. He also did about 3000 paintings, some which he burned towards the end of his life.
The Frederic Remington company has been making statues since 1974. The White House gives these statues as presidential gifts to leaders of other nations.