In the 1968 article “Take My Saddle from the Wall,” Larry McMurtry reflects on the triumphs and tragedies of the American cowboy. “I have known cowboys broken in body and twisted in spirit, bruised by debt, failure,” he wrote. “But I have seldom known one who did not consider himself phenomenally blessed to have been a cowboy.” The cowboy’s blessedness, McMurtry suggests, comes from his “heroic concept of life” and the myth fixed to his identity, “one based first of all upon a deep response to nature.” Such a noble narrative surrounds the sailor as well, who, like the cowboy, cuts a figure of masculinity that is liberated from domestic life and enshrined in nature. Exploring the origins of these respective mythologies, this exhibition pairs two American painters, Frederic Remington and Winslow Homer, whose works helped author these enduring American romances—Remington with his ranch hands, Homer with his fisherman. It also illuminates the visual and aesthetic similarities between the two artists. —C.J.F.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107, United States Get Directions »