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Happy Trails, Lin McLean!

May 30, 2017

The Met Requests Rockwell Museum’s Famous Remington Painting for NYC Exhibition

The Rockwell Museum is pleased to announce that The Metropolitan Museum of Art has requested Frederic Remington’s painting Lin McClean on loan from the permanent collection of The Rockwell. The work will go on tour to The Met for an upcoming summer exhibition, Frederic Remington at The Met opening July 3, 2017 and running through January 2, 2018. 

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Before the piece travels, The Rockwell is providing a last look window of opportunity to view the famous watercolor soon to be leaving for New York City. The work is now installed at The Rockwell only for a short time, May 20 – June 20, 2017. Stop by during regular museum hours to bid the artwork farewell – then, leave your name and address in Lin McLean’s address book to receive a postcard from his travels! 

This won’t be the first time this masterwork has traveled.  Beginning in 1965 and most recently in 2001, The Rockwell’s Lin McLean by Remington traveled to the College of Arts and Architecture at Pennsylvania State University, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art in Cody, WY, the Parkersburg Art Center in Parkersburg, WV and the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, NY. Lin McLean will return to The Rockwell after its temporary tour.

Lin McLean by Frederic Remington was originally a commissioned illustration for the story Lin McLean by Owen Wister in Harper’s Monthly,” in December of 1897. Later, the work was used as the frontispiece for an 1898 book of same title. In an attempt to please Owen Wister, Remington did at least three versions of Lin McLean to illustrate the story “Destiny at Dry Bones.”

This photogravure frontispiece depicts McLean, a young cow-puncher, with arms akimbo, wearing a hat, scarf, fringed chaps, and revolver. Remington first met Wister in 1893, a writer of Western fiction who mythologized the rugged, individualist American cowboy in literature as Remington did in his art.  Wister is best remembered for The Virginian (1902), a book he dedicated to President Theodore Roosevelt.