MMAC to Showcase Engravings by Remington, Wood Engravers’ Network

June 06, 2016

Frederic Remington, “Toro, Toro!” 1893. Wood engraving published in Harper’s Weekly, Dec. 9. Collection, Lee Silliman.MISSOULA – The Montana Museum of Art & Culture at the University of Montana carved out time this summer and space in its galleries for engravings by Frederic Remington, as well as 51 contemporary artists from around the world.

“Dramatic Moments: Frederick Remington’s Early Engravings, 1882-1895” and “The Wood Engravers’ Network Triennial Exhibition” will be on display from Thursday, June 9, to Saturday, Sept. 17, in the Meloy and Paxson galleries in UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center.

In the Meloy Gallery, “Dramatic Moments: Frederic Remington’s Early Engravings, 1882-1895” presents a historical collection of large-scale, vintage Harper’s Weekly engravings by Remington. These images launched Remington’s illustration career, providing the platform from which he evolved into one of the West’s most notable fine art painters.

The engravings document Remington’s rise to prominence and wealth and chronicle the convulsive events in the closing decades of the Western frontier era. Remington strove to portray people and their role in the pageant of history, and his graphics reveal his emergence as an expert narrative artist. The engravings in the exhibition – especially the double-page images with their dramatic contrast and subtle exercise of midtones – are exemplars of the wood engraver’s art of the late 19th century.

In the Paxson Gallery, the Wood Engravers’ Network Triennial Exhibition features 60 prints by 51 artists from Belgium, Canada, Finland, Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom. Works by both members and nonmembers of the Wood Engravers’ Network are surprisingly bold for their modest size, revealing a rich diversity of styles and subjects that prove this historic medium is robust and thriving. When looking at engravings, it is important to consider the medium’s historic association to book illustration, graphic design and narrative. As a result of this history, it is natural to see those influences played out in the contemporary exploration of the medium. Two Missoula artists are featured: James Todd and Dirk Lee.

Andy Farkas, “Their Boat,” undated. Wood engraving and handset type.

Several programs are planned during the exhibitions. The museum will host an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 9, in the PAR/TV Center Lobby. Food and refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public.

MMAC will host a free public lecture titled “Remington’s Formative Years,” delivered by art collector and educator Lee Silliman, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, in the PAR/TV Center Masquer Theatre.

In addition, the following special docent tours are free and open to the public:

  • 5-6 p.m. Thursday, July 7
  • 5-6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5

MMAC’s summer gallery hours are noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Friday. The galleries are closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The museum is open to the public with a suggested $5 donation. For more information call 406-243-2019 or visit http://www.umt.edu/montanamuseum.

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Contact: Barbara Koostra, Montana Museum of Art & Culture director, 406-243-2019, barbara.koostra@mso.umt.edu; Jeremy Canwell, MMAC curator of art, 406-243-2019, jeremy.canwell@mso.umt.edu.