Mythmakers: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington opens December 22 at the Carter in Fort Worth. The exhibition reveals unexpected convergence between the two iconic artists. Over 60 artworks in the exhibit show that acclaimed American artists Winslow Homer (1836-1910) and Frederic Remington (1861-1909) touched on common themes and shared artistic sensibilities and techniques. The national tour is organized by Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter), the Denver Art Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. The Mythmakers exhibition concludes its national tour at the Carter February 28, 2021.
Homer and Remington were born a generation apart, but both were critically celebrated for their ability to capture the quintessential American spirit of their period.
“The dedication to the continued scholarship and exploration of American art is a core tenet of the Carter’s exhibition program,” said Andrew J. Walker, Executive Director. “Mythmakers not only examines these two celebrated American artists presenting new ways in which we as the audience engage with their work, but it also further establishes the Carter’s position in the research and presentation of the foundations of American art.”
Mythmakers’ Works Compared
Photo: Winslow-Homer,1836-1910,Snap-the-Whip-1872, Collection of The Butler Museum of American Art Youngstown Ohio Museum Purchase 1919 Bridgeman Images.
“Mythmakers” brings together works seldom seen together to compare the artists’ iconic works. The exhibition represents some of their best-known subjects as well as underexplored aspects of their shared experiences within the broader context of events that shaped American history.
“While there is much to appreciate about the technical virtuosity of the collection of world-famous works assembled in this exhibition, there is also much to discuss in terms of the narratives each artist chose to perpetuate,” says Maggie Adler, Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper at the Carter.
“The exhibition starts with situating the artists in their historical context—as observers of the horrors of war and Native displacement, as urbanites with a hankering for experiences with nature lost to them in city life, as savvy brand managers, and as people approaching the brink of modernity with some anxiety. The title Mythmakers refers both to the myths surrounding these two artists’ reputations as well as the artistic license they used in representing the world around them, or worlds that were no longer in existence.”
Photo: Frederic S. Remington (1861-1909); A Dash for the Timber; 1889; Oil on canvas; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Collection; 1961.381
Each section of the exhibition is organized thematically and chronologically, featuring key works displayed in one-on-one pairings. “Mythmakers” is organized into five sections:
• The Introduction: A historical timeline that puts both artists’ careers in context through artworks that represent the arc of their careers. This section highlights how their art has come to stand for a certain vision of American masculinity.
• The Artists as Illustrators: Paintings and popular media from each artist’s time spent working for the journal Harper’s Weekly on the frontlines of wars.
• Up North: The artists’ deep roots in the wilderness of the Adirondacks, challenging the assumption that Remington was a westerner and reinforcing Homer’s status as an outdoorsman, despite his strong connections to city life.
• Opposing Forces: Exploring themes of man versus nature and, in some cases, man against man. Subjects reflect the post–Civil War era, recurring market crashes, the attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples, labor conflicts, wealth inequality, and broader societal fears.
• The Finale: examines the somber and psychological works produced by both artists at the pinnacle of their careers, coinciding with the rise of technology and disconnection from the land, reinforcing that they were not only painters of drama and conflict, but also used their knowledge of color and form to create works imbued with mystery and anxiety.
225 Page Catalog
Photo: Winslow-Homer, 1836-1910, Weatherbeaten 1894, Portland Museum of Art Maine Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson, Image courtesy Portland Museum of Art
A 225-page exhibition catalog, published by the organizing museums and distributed by Yale University Press, will be available online or in the Carter’s Museum Shop.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth is a dynamic cultural resource that provides unique access and insight into the history and future of American creativity through its expansive exhibitions and programming. Housed in a building designed by American architect Philip Johnson, the Carter’s preeminent collection includes masterworks by legendary American artists. Admission is always free. For more information, please visit cartermuseum.org.