Lonesome Dove: The Art of Story to Open at Sid Richardson Museum

Lonesome Dove: The Art of Story, the exhibition inspired by the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning Western novel by Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove, opens at noon on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, at the Sid Richardson Museum and runs through Sunday, June 19, 2016.

Masterpieces by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell—paintings that have never before been displayed together—will be exhibited with production materials from the filming of the award-winning 1989 TV miniseries, Lonesome Dove, on loan from the Lonesome Dove Collection of the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, San Marcos. The production materials from the Lonesome Dove Collection have never before been displayed outside of the Wittliff Collections, and some might never travel again due to their fragile condition.

The Sid Richardson Museum will be the trailhead for the six-month citywide celebration, The Lonesome Dove Trail, with multiple Fort Worth venues plus one in Albany, Texas. The Trail will include exhibitions at four museums and screenings, seminars and a reunion gala of the cast and crew of the TV miniseries, Lonesome Dove, including Robert Duvall (who portrayed Gus McCrae), Tommy Lee Jones (who portrayed Woodrow Call), Diane Lane, Anjelica Huston and others, to be held in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards.

“The Remington and Russell paintings and sculptures in our exhibition illuminate the narrative of the late 19th century American West,” said Mary Burke, director, Sid Richardson Museum. “Our presentation of the West—through well-crafted words, video, set illustrations, costume designs, storyboards and works by Remington and Russell—is a first-of-its-kind exhibition for our museum, and it sets the stage for the citywide celebration.”

This is a rare opportunity to see the following Remington paintings hung together: The Fall of the Cowboy, 1895, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth; The Stampede, 1908, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa; Fight for the Waterhole, 1903, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (through April 3, 2016); and Buffalo Runners—Big Horn Basin, 1909, Sid Richardson Museum.

“It is a special moment when a set of true Frederic Remington masterworks from four major art museums is assembled in one place,” said Peter H. Hassrick, director emeritus and senior scholar, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyo.

“These works reveal Remington’s changing pictorial style, from the Beaux Arts clarity of figuration in his 1895 oil, Fall of the Cowboy, to his astonishingly evocative nocturnal visions in The Stampede and the vital impressionist techniques brought to bear in his Buffalo Runners—Bighorn Basin,” he said.

“These works also reflect Remington’s observations of a passing world. Fall of the Cowboy is a summative record of the closing open-range cattle business and the denouement of its hero, the cowboy. The same message pervades The Stampede, with its dramatic race for life against multiple odds. Fight for the Waterhole conveys a message, too, of the West’s iconic figures fighting for their lives against Native resistance, against the natural elements and against time itself.

“Only the Buffalo Runners—Bighorn Basin provides a moment of unmitigated optimism. The pounding horses and spirited hunters course the western desert lands with ambition and hope for a saga that lives on in the human mind beyond the imperatives of time and history.”

Additional integral works include two paintings by Russell on loan from the Amon Carter Museum and six Remington and Russell paintings from the Sid Richardson Museum’s permanent collection, as well as a rarely seen Remington painting and two Remington and one Russell bronzes from a private collection.

“The museum’s special exhibition Lonesome Dove: The Art of Story adds dazzling Remingtons and Russells from other collections to contextualize the most significant Western novel of the late 20th-century, Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove,” said Brian W. Dippie, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and specialist in the history of Western American art. “This is an exhibition for everyone who loves the Western tradition.”

Established in 1982, the Sid Richardson Museum has one of the most significant private collections of Remington and Russell in the United States. Admission is free to the museum, which is open daily except for major holidays at 309 Main Street in Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. For information, visit http://www.sidrichardsonmuseum.org.