Segments in this Video

Artists of the Old West (02:48)


Frederic Remington and Charley Russell's artistic portrayals of cowboys immortalized the almost mythic lives of the "wild riders."

Frederic Remington (03:53)

Remington's years at Harvard School of Fine Arts taught him much, but he yearned for wide-open spaces. In 1883, he went west, where he gradually developed his "peculiar vision" of the West.

Frederic Remington: Illustrator and Colorist (03:23)

At New York's Art Students League, Remington honed his artistic skills in an atmosphere of freedom and innovation. Though he was famous as an illustrator, Remington's first color painting earned him high critical acclaim.

Collaboration of Frederic Remington and Owen Wister (03:09)

By 1893, Remington was the foremost illustrator. With Owen Wister, Remington formed one of the most remarkable collaborations in Western literature and art, transforming the cowboy into a mythic American hero.

Remington Documents the Horse (03:11)

As civilization encroached on the West, Remington, in part influenced by photographer William Muybridge, obsessively documented the horse from all angles. East Coast critics disparaged his art and in 1894, Remington took up sculpting.

Remington: Bronze Sculptor (04:15)

Casting in bronze was important to Remington, whose critics' insisted that he was only an illustrator. Viewers observe the process of casting Remington's "The Broncho Buster."

Remington's Portrayal of the Spanish-American War (04:33)

Unlike battles he had observed in the American West, this war was different, for he could not find the classic set-piece battles he had imagined. His paintings are mythic structures through which the public could interpret the war.

Remington's Last Years of Painting (02:27)

In his final years, Remington's paintings became gentler, warmer, and more impressionistic as he moved closer to nature.

Charley Russell in a World of "Fanciful Liars" (05:31)

Russell drew his artistic vision while working and living on the range. Teller of tall tales himself, he believed a whole breed of fanciful liars populated the West. His paintings, however, tell real stories of the West.

Charley Russell's Outdoor Life (04:00)

Traveling with the likes of Jake Hoover, Russell's education in the "school of all outdoors" gave him the skills to portray nature's landscapes and creatures with native intimacy.

Charley Russell's Indian Paintings (03:18)

In 1888, Russell gives up his cowboy life to be with the last roving band of Blackfoot Indians. His paintings from that time reflect the daily lives of people who lived in perfect harmony with nature.

Russell's Paintings Gain Value (03:14)

At age 30, Charley moved back to the city and married Nancy Cooper, who disciplined him and drove hard bargains for his paintings.

Russell's Fame and Humility (03:26)

Russell’s work appeared in exhibitions in New York and London. Back in Montana, he painted the West as he remembered it, and he remained unaffected by fame.

True Artist of the Old West (02:28)

Russell, known as the "cowboy artist," is a representative of the West he portrayed, its native spokesman, and the poet laureate of a passing frontier.

Conclusion: Enduring Images of the Old West (03:14)

James Whitmore, narrator for the film, sums up the enduring images that Russell and Remington created for all the generations that came after them.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Wild Riders

Part of the Series : The West of the Imagination
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



"If they are human, they’re a separate species," said Charley Russell about cowboys. This episode shows us the West of Frederic Remington and Charley Russell, whose works transformed the working cowboy into the most enduring hero-figure in American folklore. Russell became a living representative of the West he portrayed, the poet laureate of the passing frontier. In their very different ways, he and Remington created a gallery of heroes that live on in the American imagination. (57 minutes)

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL1105

ISBN: 978-1-4213-0543-1

Copyright date: ©1986

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Recommended by Video Choice.

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.