Letter from John F. Weir, Director, Yale School of Fine Arts, to Frederic Remington by John F. Weir

Name: Letter from John F. Weir, Director, Yale School of Fine Arts, to Frederic Remington | Artist: John F. Weir Media: Letter | Year(s): 1900
John F. Weir | Letter from John F. Weir, Director, Yale School of Fine Arts, to Frederic Remington | 1900 | Letter | Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg, NY

About the Work

In 1878, Remington enrolled in the Yale School of Fine Arts, the first art school at an American university, and the first coeducational school at Yale. One of only 7 men in a class of 30, Remington withdrew halfway through the three-year course, never completing his studies, when his father became ill and subsequently died.

More than two decades later, Professor John F. Weir, Director of the Yale School of Fine Arts, proposed to his faculty that Yale award Remington a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Faculty minutes indicate Remington was eligible for an earned, not honorary, B.F.A. In lieu of a thesis, faculty voted to accept one of Remington's published manuscript stories, along with the gift of one of his artworks. The letter displayed here from Weir outlines for Remington what was required of him for the awarding of the degree.

Remington generously gifted Yale with two works: a painting, The Scream of Shrapnel at San Juan Hill, and a bronze, The Wounded Bunkie, which were included in an exhibition in the galleries of the Art School at the time of commencement. After the graduation ceremonies, Weir wrote to Remington, thanking him for the artworks: "The School will prize them as the work of its most distinguished pupil, now an alumnus of Yale. . . ." In reply, Remington wrote expressing appreciation for the great honor, and in a postscript jestingly added, "I was nearly scared to death on the platform when Pres. H. [Yale President Arthur Twining Hadley] fixed us with his glittering eye."

Over the years, Remington gifted many works. Today, Wounded Bunkie is displayed in the second floor of the Yale University Art Gallery—possibly the same gallery in which the student exhibition of 1900 was held.