The Denver Art Museum’s 70,000-piece collection includes an extensive array of art representing some of the best and most well-known examples of the painting and sculpture of the American West. Among these are works by Frederic Remington, the sculptor who defined the landscapes and people of the West around the turn of the 20th century.
In 2013, the museum enhanced its Petrie Institute of Western American Art through a local collector’s gift that included 50 works by Remington, Albert Bierstadt, Ernest L. Blumenschein, and Thomas Moran. Two of Remington’s bronze casts of The Bronco Buster are part of this acquisition. Perhaps the Remington work best known to the public, The Bronco Buster depicts a cowboy riding a bucking bronco. It recently made headlines again when, to make good on a 2014 Super Bowl wager with the Seattle Art Museum, the DAM sent the piece on loan to Seattle in acknowledgement of the Seahawks’ victory over the Denver Broncos.
The Cheyenne is another of the Remington works in the museum’s western collection. Acquired in 1981, this sculpture provoked then DAM director Lewis Sharp to remark that it was the most significant Remington bronze in existence. The figure of a Native American rider in moccasins and loincloth, bent over his mustang to urge it into a gallop, captures a vivid sense of forward motion. Like The Bronco Buster and other Remington works, The Cheyenne was produced using the lost-wax casting method, in which molten metal is directed into a wax mold to create a single-piece sculpture.