Broncho Buster is one of the most recognizable symbols of the American West. Frederic Remington’s early adventures in the far west introduced him to the Mexican vaqueros and made him an admirer of their derring-do, as they fought to tame wild horses, the bronchos. Though the western cowboy is viewed as a distinctly American figure, Remington knew that it was the cowboy’s Mexican forebears generations ago who originated the iconic hero of the open range. He painted the vaqueros and published illustrations of their exploits.
When he created the figure in 1895, Remington had never previously modeled in clay. He produced as his first figure the dynamic Broncho Buster, a rearing horse that was a near impossibility to cast in metal. Displayed in the window of Tiffany & Co. in New York, the Broncho Buster attracted Gilded Age admirers who had never seen a cowboy but who eagerly ordered casts of Remington’s masterly bronze. Some 150 casts were produced in Remington’s lifetime alone, making it truly his best known and most enduring work of art.
–Patricia Junker, Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art
Thanks to the Seattle Seahawks and their Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos, SAM won a friendly wager with DAM and now is proud to host this sculpture at the Seattle Art Museum, on loan from the Denver Art Museum.
Please enjoy this video about our little Super Bowl wager!
The Broncho Buster, modeled 1895, cast before May 1902, Frederic Remington, American, 1861–1909, bronze, Roman Bronze Works, Cast number 12, Denver Art Museum: The Roath Collection, 2013.91. Photo © Denver Art Museum.