During our trip down memory lane last month, we revisited the history of the museum and how it first opened its doors back in 1982. We shared that Sid began collecting in 1942 until his death in 1959. So where did the paintings hang before the museum was founded? Well, in addition to being temporarily housed at the Amon Carter Museum starting in 1975, many artworks from Sid’s collection travelled the world on loan to various exhibitions. Let’s follow the journey some paintings have made to the many institutions and special exhibits our collection has been displayed.
Where were you in the 1965? Much of Sid’s art collection was on display at the inaugural exhibition of the newly renamed National Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City (today known as the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum).
Have you ever been to Japan? Our collection has. In the spring of 1976, four paintings from Sid’s collection, including Russell’s When Blackfeet and Sioux Meet, went on exhibit at the Takashimaya Department Store Gallery in Tokyo and later in Osaka. Takashimaya has a long history, and was the first department store in Japan to be completely air-conditioned.
Later that year, other works from Sid’s collection travelled abroad – this time across the Atlantic. As part of “The Art in Embassies Program,” Remington’s Captured hung in the Quarters of Ambassador William Anders in the American Embassy in Oslo, Norway from June 1976 – June 1977. The painting then crossed the North Sea to hang in the Quarters of Ambassador Aurther Hartman in the American Embassy in Paris, France for another year. Quelle chance!
Meanwhile back at home in the States, in the fall of 1977, Remington’s A Taint on the Wind was included in an exhibit titled “Two Centuries of American Art” at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan.
As an artist of the American West, Remington painted several compositions of the military. Two watercolor sketches from his 1886 Arizona patrol with Company K of the Tenth Cavalry were included in a 1979 exhibit appropriately titled “Frederic Remington: The Solider Artist” at West Point Military Academy in New York. West Point, also known as the United States Military Academy, is the oldest of the five American service academies.
Of course, Sid’s art collection was no stranger to Texas. In addition to being included in regular exhibitions at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, selections from the collection travelled around the Lone Star state, including the LBJ Library in Austin in 1971, the Tyler Museum of Art in 1972, and the Amarillo Art Center (now Amarillo Museum of Art) in 1979.
Since the founding of the Sid Richardson Museum opened in 1982, the selections from the collection have been loaned to several institutions and travelling exhibitions. A couple of Remington’s nocturnes, or night paintings, were featured in the 2003-2004 exhibition “Frederic Remington: The Color of Night” organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and then traveled to the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK and later to the Denver Art Museum. Near the end of his career, Remington had completed more than 70 paintings set at night. The exhibit explored Remington’s technical and aesthetic difficulties of painting darkness, particularly within the context of the artist‘s interest in modern technological innovations, including flash photography and the advent of electricity.
About a decade later, in 2014, a few of Russell’s paintings, including his 1894 oil Indians Hunting Buffalo, were featured in the exhibition “Harmless Hunter: The Wildlife Work of Charles M. Russell.” The exhibit opened at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Wyoming before touring to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, NY, Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma, and Charles M. Russell Museum, MT.
A few years ago, our collection went north of the border to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts when Remington’s The Cow Puncher was included in the 2017-2018 exhibit “Once Upon a time…The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film.” The exhibition explored the visualization, transmission, and transformation of an American myth across disciplines of artistic practice over time.
Most recently, the museum engaged in an unprecedented 2018-2019 exchange with the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, NY. While a curated selection of Remington artworks from our collection travelled to the North Country for a year, our visitors had the great fortune to experience another side of the iconic Western artist in our exhibition “Another Frontier: Frederic Remington’s East.”
The museum continues to support and partner with art institutions around the country through loans of our collection. As of this posting, our beloved Buffalo Runners – Big Horn Basin is featured in the galleries of the Denver Art Museum as part of a travelling exhibit “Natural Forces: Winslow Homer & Frederic Remington.” Our Remington painting will journey to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine and return to Fort Worth for a final viewing at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art before finding its place back on our gallery walls at the Sid Richardson Museum. In the meantime, visitors to The Sid will experience an introduction to the parallels between Remington and Homer in our new exhibit, “In a Different Light: Winslow Homer & Frederic Remington.”