Emily Ballew Neff with Wynne H. Phelan
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, houses one of the most distinguished collections of works by Frederic Remington (1861-1909) in the country. Featuring "Fight for the Water Hole", one of the icons of American art, and many other highlights, the Hogg Brothers Collection is remarkably comprehensive, representing an unparalleled survey of Remington's career. This handsome and generously illustrated book showcases the most important works from this collection - including paintings, works on paper, and a bronze sculpture - establishing each within its appropriate historical, cultural, and political contexts. Drawing on unpublished archival information, the book discusses Remington's spectacular rise to fame as a popular illustrator who mythologized the experience of westward expansion and whose works created the enduring American cowboy archetype, while chronicling the rapidly disappearing Native American cultures. Later paintings in the collection, such as "The Call for Help" and "Episode of the Buffalo Gun", which display rich colors and a bravura brushstroke, are considered anew in the context of previous technical achievement, including works by the French Impressionists.
The book begins with an introductory essay about Will Hogg - a contemporary of Remington and one of Houston's most prominent businessmen and philanthropists. In 1943, after the deaths of Will and his brother Mike, their sister Ima donated the works by Remington - in accordance with their wishes - to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This essay is followed by twenty-two catalogue entries of the most important works in the collection and a conservation essay that details fascinating new information on Remington's technique. The book concludes with an illustrated checklist of all forty-one works by Remington in the Hogg Brothers Collection. "Frederic Remington" will be of great appeal to those who have long loved and admired this unique American artist. And, with its new technical data and information, the book will also be a valuable addition to libraries of both students and scholars.