OGDENSBURG — With one of the largest collections of materials about Frederic S. Remington, fielding questions for novelists and art historians is nothing new for officials at the Frederic Remington Art Museum.
Although the number of authors asking questions has been down lately, the University of Nebraska Press recently published a book focusing on the works produced in the last four years of the artist's life, and Mr. Remington continues to be a popular topic in literary and pop culture, museum curator Laura A. Foster said.
"Remington's art is a part of our culture and it makes sense that it would be included in fiction and all manner of cultural creations," she said. "Anybody doing new scholarship on Remington is going to come here and study our papers, and assisting researchers in using our archive and providing images for books certainly helps us to meet our educational mission, so the more the better."
Officials are setting up a library to help scholars and authors researching the artist. The facility will include books, magazines, exhibit catalogues and professional journals and should be open by the summer.
According to Ms. Foster, more than 700 books about the artist have been printed. While many are fiction, using the artist's work in crime and thriller stories, the majority of the books produced about the artist are nonfiction, Ms. Foster said. The museum does not receive royalties from the book sales, but it does charge a fee of $135 to $165 for the publishers to print the reproductions.
Ms. Foster said the publication of historic art books typically coincides with major art exhibits, but with the slower economy, larger shows have been dwindling and the museum has been receiving fewer calls.
However, a slow economy has not stopped Remington works from popping up in TV and film. Works have shown up frequently in the Fox show "Human Target," which stars Ogdensburg native Mark T. Valley, and typically any reproduction of the Oval Office features a "Broncho Buster," since President Ronald Reagan put a reproduction of the statue there in 1986.
"I see them all the time. We were watching old episodes of the '70s sitcom "Soap," and by golly there were Remington prints in one of the bedrooms," she said. "Not in the last couple years, but we used to get 'Jeopardy!' researchers call to fact-check a proposed Remington question."
The museum recently started selling Stephen Tatum's "In the Remington Moment," published by the University of Nebraska Press.