This exhibition affords the rare opportunity to display works by Winslow Homer, considered by many to be the greatest American artist of the late nineteenth century, alongside the works of Frederic Remington, the premier painter of the West. Many similarities can be found in their art and artistic careers. Homer and Remington both came from similar backgrounds, both capturing the imagination of the American public through their creation of popular images in publications such as Harper’s Weekly and Scribner’s Monthly. From their work in illustration, both developed a set of character types that they returned to again and again throughout their careers. Both were rugged outdoorsmen who drew upon their experiences in nature as subjects in their art. Both documented war, with Homer the Civil War, and Remington the American Indian Wars and later the Spanish American War in Cuba. Even though they were born a generation apart, Remington and Homer were both at the height of their careers in the 1880s and 90s.
The one area where the two artists differ is in their acceptance as fine artists. Homer became a full Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1866, an honor sought by Remington, although never fully achieved. Remington, at the height of his career, sought to recast his art through a series of nocturne paintings for which he received much critical acclaim. Each artist transformed their art in their late careers, distancing themselves from their early work in illustration. Their subject matter became secondary to the paint surface, and their storytelling obscured under shade of storm and night. Reduced to their essential elements, the narratives in these paintings invite the viewer’s participation to imagine storyline and meaning.
This installation will feature a series of paintings and an illustration by Remington together with an oil painting, Two Figures by the Sea, along with a group of works on paper by Homer. The main focus will be on illustration, their use of character types, and their ability to manipulate the setting of their works with dramatic, painterly effects. This exhibition coincides with a larger exhibition of the works of Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington that will be touring the country from March 2020 through January 2021. It will begin at the Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, in March, and then travel to the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, in July, and conclude here in Fort Worth at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art beginning in October.