OTHER IMPORTANT ARTISTS IN THE COLLECTION
While the works of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell comprise the bulk of the Sid Richardson Collection, they are not the only important artists who's works are on display at the Sid Richardson Museum. The following artists also have work included in the collection.
Oscar E. Berninghaus (1874-1952)
Born in St. Louis in 1874, Oscar Berninghaus began work in lithography in 1889 and was a printer's apprentice in 1893 while studying at the St. Louis Society of Fine Arts. Berninghaus was an established commercial artist when he visited New Mexico in 1899 and became "infected with the Taos germ." He is the only member of the famous Taos artists' colony represented in the Sid Richardson Museum. Berninghaus painted many Indian subjects, giving them the full Taos Treatment, but also created works in which horses and humans were reduced to inconspicuous elements in the spectacular mountainous landscape that lured painters to northern New Mexico. He did paint Western historical pictures, five murals for the Missouri state Capitol at jefferson city and a series of oils for the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company of St. Louis on the theme of early western transportation.
Charles Francis Browne (1859-1920)
A native of Natick, Massachusetts, Charles Francis Browne studied at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston and later in Paris. In the summer of 1895 Browne and two friends from Chicago embarked on an adventure in the West, a tour of the Indian country of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. Although Browne was attracted "By the strangeness, picturesqueness and real interest" of the Indians he was the least influenced of the three by what he had seen. Landscape, not genre painting or portraiture, was his teaching specialty at the Chicago Art Institute, and it was his work in that field that earned him election as an associate in the National Academy of Design in 1913. Nevertheless, Browne did paint Indians in 1895.
Edwin Willard Deming (1860-1942)
Edwin Deming enjoyed a long, productive career as an artist and illustrator. Born in Ashland, Ohio, and raised on a homestead in Illinois, he studied art in New York and Paris. Deming traveled extensively among the Western tribes in the late 1880's and through the 1890's. His first trip to the West was in 1887 when he visited the Apaches and the Pueblo Indians in the Southwest and the Umatillas in Oregon. He was best known as a muralist and received a letter from Fredric Remington in 1909 stating his intention to have Deming do "a panel or two" for the dining room of Remington's new house in connecticut. However, during the same period his smaller canvases were also winning recognition for their evocation of the spiritual side of Indian life. He saw himself as the interpreter of the Indian's soul and was given to quoting Remington to the effect, "Deming, the difference between your Indians and mine is that I saw my Indians through the sights of a rifle and you saw yours from inside the blanket in his tipi"
William Gilbert Gaul (1855-1919)
Born in Jersey city, New Jersey, Gilbert Gaul was a student at the National Academy of Design from 1872-1876. A New York-based artist, he was once described as "the most capable of American military painters." His reputation in his day was sufficient to earn him election to the National Academy of Design in 1882. A busy illustrator and a friend of Fredric Remington, gaul specialized in western subjects too. He was one of the five special agents who took the census of 1890 among the Indians, illustrating the "Report on Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed" with a strong portrait of Sitting Bull painted from life. Traveling extensively, he gathered impressions firsthand and in 1890 offered an unvarnished picture of life on the Sioux reservation. He did not dress up his Indians or show them engaged in activities of an earlier day. rather, he recorded exactly what he saw.
Peter Hurd (1903-1984)
Peter Hurd, a native of New Mexico, ventured from his home state in 1921 to attend West Point but resigned to study art instead. In 1924 he became a pupil of the renowned illustrator N.C. Wyeth at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and five years later a member of the Wyeth family circle when he married his mentor's daughter Henriette. The Hurds, both artists, lived on at Chadds Ford until 1939, then settled in New Mexico, where Peter Hurd earned distinction as one of the outstanding painters of the Southwest. Though his watercolors and etchings are much admired, his reputation rests on his work in egg tempera, an exacting medium perfectly suited to his tight, precise brushstroking since it allows his heavily reworked surface to retain an airy glow. While best known for his spare, evocative studies of the light, the landscape, the people, and the quiet charm of his native state, Hurd was also an accomplished portraitist.
Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939)
Frank Tenney Johnson was born in 1874 on a farm in Iowa. Later press accounts described it as a "cattle ranch" and told how as a boy he watched "the last of the 'prairie schooners' lurch and rumble" westward - a distortion not unlike that which turned Remington's brief stint as a Kansas sheepman into an adventurous career as a free-roaming cowboy. The Johnsons moved to Milwaukee in 1888, and Frank studied art there and in New YOrk City until 1904, when he realized his youthful ambition to see the far West. Five months in colorado, Wyoming, and the desert Southwest filled his reference files with oil sketches and hundreds of photographs of the subjects that would preoccupy him - cowboys, Mexicans, and Southwestern Indians. (Predictably, press accounts had him spending "most of his summers" in colorado, "Where he rode with the 'Lazy Seven' cattle outfit") Subsequent excursions expanded Johnson's repertoire. In 1912, for example, he joined Charles Russell on a sketching expedition to the Blackfoot Reservation east of Glacier National Park in Montana, and fondly recalled camping with him "in Joe Kipp's buffalo-skin tepee. . . We sketched Indians together. . . Charley was sure a white Indian, and every one liked him." (Nancy russell was another matter. Johnson remembered her coolness - she did not cotton to competitors - but Charlie "liked my work and said so emphatically." At the time, Russell's most vivid impression of Johnson was of his eagerness to gather Indian souvenirs for his studio collection.) Johnson's considerable reputation was based on his fluid, painterly oi8ls and his dramatic use of color. He favored nocturnes and sun-splashed scenes capturing the light early in the morning and late in the day when shadows and warm orange tones soften the floodlit clarity of mid-day.
William Robinson Leigh (1866-1955)
Of the painters who gained fame as delineators of the American West around the turn of the century, William Robinson Leigh is routinely cited as the most thoroughly trained. A native of West Virginia, Leigh was the son of impoverished Southern aristocrats. He spent fifteen years studying drawing, painting, and composition in Baltimore and Munich and apprenticing as a mural painter before establishing himself as an artist and illustrator in New York City in 1896. A decade later, fulfilling a boyhood dream, he went west and fell in love with the desert country. While he would venture into other areas from time to time, he was primarily a Western artist.
Peter Moran (1841-1914)
Compared to his long-lived brother Thomas, one of America's foremost landscape painters, Peter Moran is positively obscure. The Moran family emigrated from England in 1844 and settled in Philadelphia the next year. After a brief apprenticeship as a printer, Peter followed in his brother's footsteps and turned to the study of art, eventually establishing a reputat5ion as an accomplished etcher of animals. Both Morans were drawn to the West, and Peter accompanied Thomas on a sketching trip to the Teton range in 1879. On his own two years later he made a tour of the pueblos in Arizona and New Mexico. Along with four other painters (including Gilbert Gaul), Moran served as a special agent for the Eleventh Census in 1890. His published report on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming was illustrated with three of his paintings.
Charles Schreyvogel (1861-1912)
Charles Schreyvogel's work, apart from a scattering of portraits and a few tranquil scenes, constitutes a sustained tribute to the Wild West. In his paintings, troopers charge, Indians dodge and whoop, rifles and pistols discharge, sabers swing, bodies crash to the ground, and horses are always at full gallop. though others - notably Rufus Fl Zogbaum - portrayed the Indian-fighting army, only Schreyvogel rivaled Fredric Remington in the public's esteem, and only that duo tried to elevate the subject from illustration to art. Indeed, the introduction to a collection of Schreyvogel reproductions, My Bunkie, stressed that he "has never been an illustrator in the restricted sense of that term; that is, he has never drawn his pictures purely for reproduction in magazines and books." To Remington, immensely sensitive about his stature as a pure artist, those were fighting words. Because he thought that Schreyvogel was poaching on his turf - and in the oil that first brought him critical recognition, My Bunkie, was directly stealing his ideas - he launched an attack on Schreyvogel's work in 1903 on the grounds of historical inaccuracy. Typically, Remington was talking about details of dress and accoutrements in a Schreyvogel cavalry scene, with the result that his criticisms seemed petty and his motive in making them mere envy. Had he not been so committed to Wild West action himself, he might more pertinently have charged Schreyvogel with misrepresenting what life in the Indianfighting army was all about, for, based on his own experience, it had precious little to do with fighting and a great deal to do with boredom and drudgery. Schreyvogel simply eliminated the greater part of reality from his work and presented an unadulterated vision of constant, violent action. His contemporaries loved it. even as Remington was growing moody and introspective, there was Schreyvogel still doing the Wild West. William Jones accompanied Edwin W. Deming on a visit to Schreyvogel's studio in 1902 and came away impressed: "he does things western, especially where Indians and soldiers are fighting. . . His pictures are like Remington's, only far better. This statement has reference only to the pictures in action. In atmosphere and cowboys and ponies Remington is king. . ." Elizabeth Custer, the General's widow, was equally smitten with Schreyvogel's work. "He represents action so splendidly, and he does horses tat are so alive and full of spirit, " she wrote William Fl (Buffalo Bill) Cody. "The souls of those officers that he so admires seem to have entered into him." That was high praise indeed for a life-long easterner. Born in New York state in 1861, Schreyvogel trained in Munich (1886-1890) and lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, until his death in 1912. Beginning in 1893 he made regular visits to the West, gathering impressions and satisfying an obsession with accuracy of detail equal to Remington's own. His concern with verisimilitude has even persuaded his biographer that his work was historically realistic despite its obvious devotion to the fantasy West served up by that master showman, buffalo Bill. A nice man, lacking remington's bombastic streak, Schreyvogel won people over easily. Like Charles Russell, he made clay models of horses in action and then painted from them; it was appropriate that Schreyvogel was the one who referred Russell on an early trip to New York to the foundry responsible for some of Remington's most notable bronzes, thus helping launch the Cowboy Artist's distinguished career as a sculptor.