The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001

Book Reviews
Frederic Remington: The Hogg Brothers Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
By Emily Ballew Neff with Wynne H. Phelan. (Princeton: Princeton Univer-
sity Press, 2ooo. Pp. xii+146. Foreword, acknowledgments, selected bibliog-
raphy, index. ISBN 0-691-04928-9. $49.95, cloth.)
West-Fever. By Brian W. Dippie. (Seattle, Washington: University of Washington
Press, 1998. Pp. 128. Illustrations, foreword, preface, bibliography. ISBN o-
295-97735-3. $35.00, cloth.)
It might now be said, without too much fear of contradiction, that American
western art has finally come of age. It was not all that long ago that American art
in general, and western American art in particular, were shunted off to the wings
while the Old Masters held center stage in virtually all of America's museums
and major collections. These two books address various questions about two of
the most important collections of western art now in museums. Emily Ballew
Neff and Brian W. Dippie both write about museum collecting in these beauti-
fully designed and printed books, but from quite different points of view.
Dippie, profesor of history at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, takes
on the task of providing a context for an entire museum-the Gene Autry
Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles-while Neff, curator of American
painting and sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, discusses only one
part of the massive MFA collection, the widely publicized and popular paintings
and sculptures of Frederic Remington, one of the best-known artists to ever
paint the American West.
Forty years ago, it would hardly have been possible to publish two such books,
for the collections did not exist. Few museums showed western American art at
that time and fewer curators and scholars studied in it. The Museum of Fine
Arts, Houston, was one of the few exceptions, having been given its Remington
paintings in 1943 by Ima Hogg, sister of the collector, William C. Hogg. But in
1947 Bernard DeVoto published a blockbuster of a book, Across the Wide Missouri,
that reintroduced the public to early western artists George Catlin, Karl Bodmer,
and Alfred Jacob Miller, and it won the Pulitzer Prize for History. Then, in 1961
the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth opened and presented an even grander
collection of Remington and Charles M. Russell paintings and sculptures to the
world. Equally important, under founding director Mitchell A. Wilder, the muse-
um adopted a research program that regularly published beautiful and scholarly

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 25, 2015.