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   Photos of original Broncho Busters    

1895 Broncho Buster Bronze Sculpture.   A common misspelling of  Broncho Buster is Bronco Buster.

        The 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 Broncho BusterFrederic Remington’s sculpture designs and remains so to date.
        The Broncho 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 Remington sculpting the Broncho Buster
 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 Broncho Buster.

By: Shannon  J. Hatfield

Click here to learn more about the 1909 The Broncho Buster (large version)
the second Broncho Buster Remington Sculpted.


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