Pontiac Club, Canada by Frederic Remington

Name: Pontiac Club, Canada | Artist: Frederic Remington Media: Oil on board | Year(s): 1909
Frederic Remington | Pontiac Club, Canada | 1909 | Oil on board | Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg, NY

About the Work

Incorporated in 1898, the Pontiac Club was one of many private fishing and game associations to be found in Quebec province. Approximately twenty lakes—mainly for trout fishing—dotted the club's forested land. Members could hunt deer, moose, bear, and ruffed grouse. An official government report on what such clubs meant to the province stated: "The scenery of the [Pontiac] club territory . . . is of the most varied and most charming character."

Remington learned of the Pontiac Club through his friend from childhood, John Howard. In his April 14, 1909 diary entry, the artist indicates that Howard, who had sent him a book and photograph of the club, "says he will land me a membership. It is bully." The artist's enthusiasm for joining the Pontiac Club undoubtedly related to his having sold his island Ingleneuk earlier that year (he did so to secure funds for a new home being built in Ridgefield, Connecticut). The Remingtons traveled to Canada in August to spend two weeks at the club. Upon arriving, the artist observed the club to be "a fine jumble of log cabins on a beautiful lake." Remington's diary records that while there he fished, sketched, painted, photographed, hiked, loafed, and "tried a small birch canoe and manage[d] all righty but then my knees are not calloused by prayer and I got a groan in the kneeling."

The artist was pleased with the Impressionistic outdoor paintings he produced at the Pontiac Club. In a diary entry written after his return from Canada, he declared: "My pontiac [sic] sketches when varnished look true and strong." Although Remington referred to them as sketches, he signed, dated, and framed five of them to be included as "Small Landscapes" in his December, 1909 exhibition in New York's Knoedler Galleries.