The Sporting Life: Selections from the Remington Arms Art Collection
Adtran, Jurenko and Thurber Galleries
August 20 – November 5, 2017
The Sporting Life presents highlights from the Remington Arms Collection and is believed to be the single largest holding of sporting and wildlife art in the world. While its size alone makes it significant, what ultimately sets the collection apart is the high quality of the pieces.
Boasting over 400 paintings dating from roughly 100 years ago to the present, Remington’s holdings include works by such respected early 20th century artists as N.C. Wyeth, Frank Xavier Leyendecker, Lynn Bogue Hunt and William Harnden Foster, as well as paintings by contemporary masters Tom Beecham, Larry Duke and the legendary Bob Kuhn (the man generally acknowledged to be the greatest animal painter of the last half-century).
The paintings were commissioned to illustrate posters, prints, calendars and other advertising vehicles for The Remington Arms Company, America’s oldest gun maker. Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons, it remains the largest American producer of shotguns and rifles. The paintings that were created for the company over the past century typically depicted a sportsman using a Remington firearm or ammunition, but often in an understated way. The underlying idea was that the image through the drama, excitement and romantic appeal of its narrative, would excite the imaginations of sportsmen and hunters alike.
The superiority of Remington’s products was implied, with the subtext being that using Remington would make you a better shot and, in effect, a better hunter. The more effective an artist was at creating images that triggered these emotional responses, the more successfully the message was conveyed.
Organized by the Huntsville Museum of Art, The Sporting Life includes approximately 75 original works and is the first major museum exhibition curated from the Remington Arms Collection in over 40 years.