The Broncho Buster

Artist: Frederic Remington (American, Canton, New York 1861–1909 Ridgefield, Connecticut)

Date: 1895, cast 1918

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 22 3/4 x 18 3/4 x 14 in. (57.8 x 47.6 x 35.6 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Bequest of Helen R. Bleibtreu, 1985

Accession Number: 1986.81.2


"The Broncho Buster," Remington's first sculpture, and the first sculpture of a cowboy cast in bronze, was copyrighted in October 1895. He adapted the subject, a cowboy breaking in a rearing horse, from his drawing "Pitching Broncho," published in "Harper's Weekly" on April 30, 1892. The rough-and-ready drama Remington captured in his paintings carried over to this action sculpture, and the statuette earned quick appreciation for its iconic rendering of the American cowboy. The many bronze statuettes in "The Broncho Buster" edition were first sand-cast at the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company, and later, after 1900, lost-wax cast at Roman Bronze Works. Following her husband's death in 1909, Eva Remington (1859-1918) oversaw the production of additional bronzes from foundry molds, but because of the sculptor's attention to quality in the casting and coloring processes, estate bronzes lack the refinement and original flair for detail of the lifetime casts. This "Broncho Buster," although cast posthumously, is significant, as it is the last one—number 214—recorded in the Roman Bronze Works ledger book on December 31, 1918.