The Frederic Remington Art Museum has implemented a membership drive that is achieving excellent results.

Members of the museum’s board of trustees approved a new membership program in April, which revises levels and benefits, according to a news release posted on the museum’s website. Trustees challenged themselves to recruit 10 members each and asked other groups such as the board for the Remington Foundation to do their part.

“The museum will promote membership during the campaign with a hashtag campaign on social media, -Remingtonmember, and a grass-roots effort to have members recruit others to join them,” the news release reported. “Whether you attend art classes, lectures or the many social gatherings held at the museum, these events are all made possible by member support. Membership is one of the most important ways to support the museum’s mission and one that has had very real impact over time on the museum’s ability to thrive.”

The news release said that the Remington Art Museum had 424 members. But a letter written by museum administrative aide Shannon Ghize, posted July 16 on the website for North Country Now, said the organization now has more than 500 members. This demonstrates the success of the campaign that’s been launched.

Born in Canton in 1861, Frederic S. Remington was an author, illustrator, painter and sculptor. His work captures the romance and hardships of life on the American frontier. His family moved to Ogdensburg in 1872, and he lived in various parts of the West beginning in 1881.

“Frederic Remington … has long been celebrated as one of the most gifted interpreters of the American West. Initially, his Western images appeared as illustrations in popular journals,” according to the website for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. “As he matured, however, Remington turned his attention away from illustration, concentrating instead on painting and sculpture. About 1900 he began a series of paintings that took as their subject the color of night. Before his premature death in 1909 at age 48, Remington completed more than 70 paintings in which he explored the technical and aesthetic difficulties of painting darkness.

In 1907, then-President Theodore Roosevelt commented on Remington’s lasting influence in Pearson’s Magazine: “He is, of course, one of the most typical American artists we have ever had, and he has portrayed a most characteristic and yet vanishing type of American life. The soldier, the cowboy and rancher, the Indian, the horses and the cattle of the plains will live in his pictures and bronzes, I verily believe, for all time.”

People affiliated with the Remington Museum believe they have an obligation to preserve the artist’s legacy. Recruiting new members and retaining current ones are, therefore, very important objectives.

The Remington Museum, 303 Washington St. in Ogdensburg, will host its first Remington Reunion Celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. July 24. Admission will be $35 per person for members and donors and $40 for their guests. Organizers hope to make this an annual event; call 315-393-2425 for more information.

Supporting these kinds of organizations in Northern New York is critical to preserving history and enhancing artistic endeavors. Members comprise the foundation of these groups, so it’s essential for people to commit themselves to the institutions that best serve their interests. We commend the board, staffers and volunteers of the Remington Art Museum for setting a good example.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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