Beyond Our Walls
It is often said of our namesake, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, that he brought the West to the world. Continuing that legacy, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West shares its own extraordinary object collection, exhibitions, and expertise beyond our walls with a national—and indeed international—audience.
From the loan of a few artifacts to complete traveling exhibitions, the Center takes the authentic stories of the American West on the road. Here are some of the exhibitions around the country currently featuring objects from the Center:
The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
March 9 – May 10, 2015
This groundbreaking exhibition unites Plains Indian masterworks found in European and North American collections, from pre-contact to contemporary times, including several objects from our Plains Indian Museum collection. The works range in age from those collected centuries ago by French traders and travelers, to items acquired by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery during the 1804 – 1806 journey, to objects from the early reservation period, to contemporary times.
As the MET‘s description notes, The Plains aesthetic is “singular, ephemeral, and materially rich.” Indian nations represented in the exhibition include Osage, Quapaw, Omaha, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Blackfeet, Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, and Meskwaki. The diverse forms and media of the works of art include painting and drawing; sculptural works in stone, wood, antler, and shell; porcupine-quill and glass-bead embroidery; feather work; painted robes depicting figures and geometric shapes; richly ornamented clothing; composite works; and ceremonial objects.
Virtual gallery: These Plains Indian Museum objects are part of the exhibition at the MET
- Dress and Adornment: Daily And/Or Festive Adornment. Tanned, deer hide, decorated with overlay bead design of figure and horses all over bodice and sleeves. Lazy stitch bead border on both sides of front. Bead border on collar, shoulder seams, and around sleeves at top, along bottom. Fringe along bottom, sleeves, shoulder and seams at back. Bead border on front edge.
- Dress and Adornment: Daily and/or Festive Adornment. Man's (Red Cloud) -- Deerskin, fringe. Upper portion painted blue, lower portion yellow with yellow, orange and brown lines in between. Triangular tabs on front and back of neck decorated with red and blue wool and beading in white, red, blue, green, turquoise and yellow. Lazy stitch beaded strips over shoulders and on each sleeve. Panels with turquoise diamond designs on dark blue ground also with white, green, yellow, red and pink on strips. Upper portion and sleeves also have small beaded squares in red and pink or turquoise and yellow. Human hair bundles run over shoulders and on sleeves, most dark but some light horse hair bundles. Bundles wrapped with undyed porcupine quills and attached to blue beads. Tabs at bottom on each side decorated with triangular piece of red and blue wool with white, blue and green beaded border.
- Status Symbols and Insignia of Office. (A) War bonnet - buckskin skull cap with lazy stitch bead front band in multi-color geometric design on white background. Multi-color bead rosettes and tabs with tin cone and feather puff tassels at each side of band. Wrapped quillwork tassel on rosettes. Otter and ermine strips with bead and yellow horse hair tips. 30 eagle feathers with feather puffs at tips and base with red beaded stems. (B) Trailer - buckskin strips with painted animals, pipes and geometric designs. Red, white and blue bead edge. 72 eagle feathers with feather puffs at tips. Red beaded feather stem bases. Fringe at bottom edge and top panel. Green ribbon tied to bottom feathers.
- good, fringe brittle
The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky is made possible by the Enterprise Holdings Endowment, an Anonymous Foundation, and the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund. It was organized by the Musée du quai Branly, Paris, in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in partnership with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.
The Art of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center, Longmont, Colorado
November 22, 2014 – April 19, 2015
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West shares its fine collection of works from two of the most recognized western artists: Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.
Frederic Remington and Charles Russell: Masterworks from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West compares the life and work of these two giants of western art.
The exhibition includes 13 bronzes, four letters with original watercolor illustrations, four watercolors, two gouache drawings, 21 oil paintings, three pen and ink drawings, and three lithographs. Included in the exhibition are rarely-seen watercolors by Russell, distinctive black, white, and gray Remington paintings which were created for illustrations, and a large selection of Russell bronzes.
Click here to read the Longmont Museum’s news release about the exhibition.
Take a look at the paintings, sculptures, and letters of the exhibition:
- Remington's title refers not to the rider but to the horse; an untamable or vicious horse is often called an outlaw. The cowboy, in his efforts to conquer the wild horse, symbolized civilization's general exertions to control the Western wilderness. Careful observers will note that the spur on the rider's right foot is on upside down, an error made either at the foundry or in a more recent repair.
- For Charles Russell, the buffalo assumed mythic proportions. He used an outline drawing of a buffalo skull as part of his characteristic signature, identifying himself with the tragic fate of the animal that once dominated the American landscape. His paintings of buffalo herds stopping to drink from the river portray the unity of wildlife and land in the West.
- Commissioned by Harper's, Remington and writer Poultney Bigelow spent May and June, 1892, in Europe observing German and Russian militaries. Several articles, written by Bigelow and illustrated by Remington, resulted from the trip. This watercolor was probably a study for the illustration Cavalryman Watering His Horse, in Harper's Monthly, July, 1893.
- Painting- Untitled (Blue prairie, mountains and sky in background)- Remington, Frederic- oil on board- Landscape
- Restrictions: May not be sold or traded under any circumstances. Artist: Nelli Art Bronze Works L.A.-foundry
- In 1900 Russell experienced stability in his life; he and wife Nancy moved into their own home. In his art he developed characteristic compositions and began to lighten his palette. Russell portrayed a group stalking an enemy in the distance by using a compositional device of a pyramid-shaped rock which anchors the painting. Russell depicted this scene, as well as many others, from the viewpoint of the Indian.
- In the Russell's later years, he grew increasingly nostalgic for the open range life he enjoyed as a youth. One of Russell's first jobs after arriving in Montana was to night-wrangle horses in the Judith Basin. The Horse Wrangler is a self-portrait of the artist astride one of his favorite horses, Redbird.
- Remington had a long association with his friend, William F. Cody. He visited Cody's Wild West exhibitions on a number of occasions, using the visits to sketch western subjects. Remington produced this painting along with several other illustrations for the biography of Cody, Last of the Great Scouts, written by his sister Helen Cody Wetmore in 1899.
- In a letter written about the time he modeled this sculpture, Russell said, "Bronk riding is the greatest and only real American Sport, and it takes regular men to play the gam(e)." Russell copyrighted this sculpture in 1925 with the title The Bucker and the Buckeroo. After the artist's death, an author on Russell's works identified this sculpture as The Weaver, a title Russell actually had intended for an earlier sculpture.
- This painting depicts a scene near Remington's summer home in upstate New York. When Remington exhibited his paintings at a New York gallery in 1908 he included several of these small, pure landscape paintings which he signed. The frame on this painting reproduces the type of frame which Remington used for these works.
- Artist's letters often provide documentary evidence for historians, but Charles Russell's letters make a special art form uniting image and word. Usually light-hearted, the letters present Russell as the home-spun philosopher. The letter to Friend Tex is written to Tex McLeod, a roper in Buffalo Bill's Wild West, and contains a touching passage about Russell's adopted son.
- Sculpture- The Buffalo Family- Russell, Charles M. (after)- Roman Bronze Works, Inc.- bronze- Side of base, left rear: ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N-Y- Scratched in lower right side of base: | | |- Side of base, right rear: C M Russell/ (buffalo skull)
- This painting probably resulted from Remington's 1896 trip to Texas. Later that year Remington included illustrations of government mules pulling ambulances in the article "The Blue Quail of the Cactus" which he wrote for Harper's Monthly magazine. The markings on this mule's body shows the effect of pulling in harness.
- Remarks: Right foreleg of horse is cracked. (2-25-82)
- Russell painted Escape to illustrate a story he wrote for Outing Magazine titled: "A Pair of Outlaws." When the magazine hit financial trouble, Russell's stories were discontinued. Finally in 1926, the story was resurrected for Russell's book, Trails Plowed Under. Russell apparently decided to create a new illustration for the book, and Escape was never published.
- Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) Portrait of Charles M. Russell ca. 1924, black and white photograph Gift of the Dr. Harold McCracken Family, 7.07
- Sculpture- Smoke of the Medicine Man- Russell, Charles M.- H. E. Britzman Art Bronze. A Rodriguez, LA- bronze- Figure- Indian- Base: [skull] CM Russell/ 1923; around front sides of base: 1 c.(with a circle around it) 1950 (H E BRITZMAN) (ART.BRONZE. A RODRIGUEZ.L.A.); See file for base outline.
- When Charles M. Russell painted a history painting related to the exploration or settlement of the West, he often painted it with Indian subjects as the primary focus. This painting refers to one of the incidents in the Sioux wars of the period 1877-1879 when Nelson Miles pursued the Indians in Montana.
- Credit line: Gift of William E. Weiss. Restrictions: May not be sold or traded under any circumstances.
- (Wolf looking at rattlesnake behind skull). Restrictions: May not be sold or traded under any circumstances.
- By 1900 Remington had made several trips to Wyoming, and in 1897, he stayed with Buffalo Bill on his ranch. Remington's photo albums contain photographs of Cody and this region. It is thought that A Post Office in the Cow Country depicts the originally proposed town of "Shoshone." The federal authorities, however, warned the town developers that the name could cause confusion with the existing town of "Shoshoni" which lay 113 miles to the southeast. Thus the name was changed to Cody. The hills in the background of the painting resemble those just east of Cody known as McCullough Peaks.
- Painting- Indian Scout- Russell, Charles M.- oil on board- Indian- Landscape- LLC: C M Russell/(skull)/1897
- Russell enjoyed modeling animal figures on oddly shaped roots or branch fragments. Mountain Mother captures the playful nature of the cubs and the watchful, protective instinct of the sow.
- Restrictions: May not be sold or traded under any circumstances. Source: (Weiss collection #42)
- This bronze was probably cast in the 1950s when a series of bronzes were cast from plasters in the estate of Nancy Russell. These plasters were not models, but were themselves casts; therefore the bronzes made from them are secondary pieces. This cast has less detail than the cast to the left, which was made from the original model.
- This Remington painting appeared in Harper's Monthly, November, 1891, as an illustration for Julian Ralph's story "Dan Dunn's Outfit." Ralph described visiting in British Columbia a camp of men building a railroad, where the mess tent was the principal building. "They ate...with great rapidity, little etiquette, and just enough unselfishness to pass each other the bread."
- Source: Bob Scriver cast for BBHC from wax model in collection of BBHC (Hammer/Jones #42)
- Restrictions: May not be sold or traded under any circumstances. Source: (Weiss collection #9)
- Remington painted this work to illustrate a story, "Little Big Horn Medicine," written by Owen Wister for Harper's Monthly Magazine, June 1894.
- Remington painted Shoshonie during his visit to Cody, Wyoming in September of 1908. By this time in his career, he had begun plein-air painting, the practice of completing works in the field. Like the French Impressionist painters, Remington sought to capture the effects of light and atmosphere in his landscapes.
- Painting- Sunset on the Cheyenne River- Remington, Frederic- oil on board- Landscape
- Painting- Untitled (Desert near range of mountains)- Remington, Frederic- oil on board- Landscape
- In 1907 Russell traveled to New York City to present his first one-man show i the art capital. His letter to newspaperman Percy Raban indicates Russell's preference for Great Falls, Montana, over the big city. While in New York, Russell saw William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody's Wild West exhibition at Madison Square Garden. OR Russell wrote about seeing Buffalo Bill's Wild West to his friend Percy Raban, a newspaperman.
- Remington's small, detailed pen and ink vignettes illustrate Blackfeet arms, implements and bead-work, as described in "The Blackfeet Indians," in Harper's Weekly, July 23, 1887. According to the author of the article, Remington depicted the Canadian Blackfeet, who lived on a reservation near the Bow River, south of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
- This painting served as an illustration in Collier's Weekly, August 24, 1901. Before the twentieth century most magazines did not have the technology to illustrate in color. The result from reproducing a color painting in black and white was, however, unpredictable. To prevent muddy tonal values, Remington and other illustrators often painted in gradations of black and white and thereby guaranteed strong tonal definition.
- Painting- Sioux Torturing a Blackfoot Brave- Russell, Charles M.- watercolor on paper- Indian- Group- LLC: C M Russell/(skull)/1897 [verso, in pencil:] Sioux Indian (ill.)/ a Blackfoot Brave/ by Charles Russell/ the Cowboy Artist [verso, label, handwritten in ink:] 110/ Indians/ by Charles Russell (stamped:) ARTHUR H. HORNE ET AL./ ADMINISTRATORS./ 147 TREMONT ST. BOSTON (in pencil:) A [label:] 110. Exhibition Labels on verso for Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Frontier America, 1/12/88-4/3/88 venue; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Frontier America, 12/13/88-2/25/89 venue
- Painting- Untitled (Ghosts of the Past)- Ghosts of the Past- Remington, Frederic- oil on canvas- Group- Landscape- Animal- Cowboy- LRC: Frederic Remington
- In September of 1908, Remington came to Cody as Buffalo Bill's guest at the TE Ranch on the Southfork. During his stay, Remington spent his days exploring and painting the local scenery.
- Painting- Untitled (River, prairie and mountain background)- Remington, Frederic- oil on board- Landscape
- Painting- Untitled (Sketch of prairie sagebrush and trees)- Remington, Frederic- oil on board- Landscape
- Print- A Cavalry Officer- Remington, Frederic- artist- Color Lithograph- military- Animal- LRC: Frederic Remington
- Print- A Sioux Chief- Remington, Frederic- artist- Color Lithograph- Indian- Animal- LR: Frederic Remington
- Remington often made small landscape studies which served as ideas for his large easel paintings. He painted these studies outdoors to take advantage of natural light and the immediacy of painting on the spot. Late in his career, however, Remington began to consider many ofhis landscape paintings as finished works, not merely studies.
- Russell wrote this letter to artist Ed Borein from California where he met the celebrities mentioned.
- Not to be sold, traded or exchanged.
- Not to be sold, traded or exchanged.
- A term primarily used in the Southwest United States, vaquero (derived from the Spanish word vaca "cow") refers mainly to a working cowboy. The vaquero traditions of horsemanship, equipment, dress attire and language greatly influenced other working cowboys. As extraordinarily skilled horsemen, the vaqueros played a major role in the development and management of the ranching industry in Mexico, as well as the United States.
- Print- Old Ramon- Remington, Frederic- artist- Color Lithograph- Figure- Animal- LR: Frederic Remington.
- This painting was on Russell's easel at the time of his death.
- When Russell exhibited his paintings in London, he visited the sights and wrote back home to his friends such as Percy Raban.
Harmless Hunter: The Wildlife Work of Charles M. Russell
Includes three works by Russell and appears:
- Sam Noble Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: January 31 – April 26, 2015
- Charles M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana: May 16 – November 13, 2015