ed. by Peter H. Hassrick. (Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West). University of Oklahoma Press, May 2016. 328 p. ill. ISBN 9780806152080 (cl.), $75.00.
Reviewed November 2016
The result of a joint research effort between the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Frederic Remington Art Museum, and the Stark Museum of Art, the new Frederic Remington catalogue raisonné is an important contribution to the study of Western American art and the definitive statement on Remington’s artistic achievement. Carrying on from the first edition of two largely black and white print volumes and an accompanying CD-ROM published in 1996, this remodeled version of the Frederic Remington catalogue raisonné brings the artist’s paintings, watercolors, and drawings into an accessible and elegant form. Focusing on the artist’s “flat work,” the single print volume includes six new essays and reproduces 111 selected works with full page illustrations in rich color. In place of the CD-ROM, documentation of over 3,000 works of art by Remington (including more than 200 works authenticated since 1996), is incorporated into a newly launched catalogue raisonné website (http://remington.centerofthewest.org).
The editorial and production models used for the Remington catalogue raisonné play to the advantage of both visual impact and the presentation of detailed scholarship. Full page illustrations allow the artwork reproductions room to breathe in print, leaving off the potentially extensive listings of full provenance, exhibition, and bibliographic citations. All of the information strings on the artwork are still found on the extensive online catalogue raisonné, which also allows registered readers access to the online version of the print volume (a unique keycode inside the book can be used to create one user account).
The Remington catalogue raisonné is an important selection for American art collections and could be a valuable individual example of the genre for general art collections. Reasonably priced for a publication with this depth of scholarship, the new Remington catalogue is also a noteworthy example of how the generation of CD-ROM-based catalogues raisonnés can be refreshed. One hopes that other projects from the previous generation (like Edward Hopper) won’t be far behind Remington.