1895 Broncho Buster Bronze Sculpture. A common
misspelling of Broncho Buster is Bronco Buster.
rugged Western frontier character portrayed in Remington’s 1895 sculpture,
won the hearts of the American people for both the subject matter and its
dynamic composition. The Broncho Buster
was the first, and most popular of
Remington’s sculpture designs and remains so to date.
Buster is also one of the most widely recognized of Remington's
sculpture portrayals; this is partly due to the publicity surrounding
President Theodore Roosevelt and the “Rough Riders” to whom Remington
presented it as a gift. This casting now resides in the White House oval
office as a center piece and permanent element of the collection.
It was executed in the
summer of 1895, and later that fall it was copyrighted with the United
States Copyright office.
Sculpting was a new
medium for Remington at this time, and this new method of portrayal was a
total success in the eyes of his collectors and art historians. Breaking
away from the restricted limits of flat paper, pen & ink and watercolor;
Remington stampeded right to the next level of his artistic potential,
through the more effective medium of three dimensional expressions.
Remington, who always strived to capture the essence of the moment in his
work, now found he was more able to effectively express that which he had
observed first hand,
“Only those who have ridden a bronco the first
time it was
saddled, or have lived through a railroad accident, can
form any conception of the solemnity of such experiences.
Few Eastern people appreciate the sky-rocket bounds,
grunts, and stiff-legged striking… Frederic Remington
therefore, Remington wanted to sculpt a
bucking bronco for his first piece.
He used techniques
from his previous works to help focus the subjects figure. By removing the
figure from its context and isolating it into a grounded free-floating
form he achieved lifelike and vigorous movement. Remington’s reference
file for the sculpture included a photo of a cowboy that very closely
resembled the 1982 illustration of A Bucking Broncho. Still, The
Broncho Buster followed the same kind
of process liberating horse and man from two-dimensionality as before.
The original process of
sand casting was a laborious process that produced this amazingly detailed
bronze. This can still be seen years and years later with the stirrup
swinging free, a quirt in one hand and a fistful of mane and reins in the
other, this cowboy fights to stay aboard a rearing, plunging horse. If
ever there was a question in Remington’s mind on his sculpting abilities,
it was defiantly put to rest with his rendition of the
By: Shannon J. Hatfield
Click here to learn more about the 1909 The
Broncho Buster (large version)
the second Broncho Buster Remington Sculpted.