Frederic Remington. “A Practice Game at Yale By The Champion Foot-Ball Eleven.” From Harper’s Weekly.
New York, November 24, 1888. Seven images, together 13 3/4 x 20 3/4. Wood engraving. Minor wear along center fold. Two small tears in margins. Framed.
Remington was born in upstate New York in 1861, and at age 19, he had distinguished himself as a football player and pugilist at Yale. Leaving Yale upon his father’s death, he arrived on the western plains in 1880 and found the demanding life to his liking, excelling in the use of the lariat and six-gun. He became friends with the working men of the times, prospected for gold, rode with military troops on campaigns, and roamed such fabled routes as the Santa Fe Trail and Bozeman Road.
Five years later, with his inheritance exhausted and a net worth of three dollars, Remington arrived in New York City packing his voluminous portfolios resolved to break into art and illustration. Initial successes were thin, yet within 18 months editors were seeking him out and his painting, “The Courier’s Nap on the Trail” appeared at the annual exhibition in the National Academy. Within a few years he was recognized as the foremost western illustrator, short story author (Roosevelt preferred him to Owen Wister and Bret Harte) and sculptor of his day. He died in 1909 after surgery for appendicitis.
Many of his images appeared in the illustrated weekly newspaper, Harper’s Weekly. His first drawing appeared in that magazine in 1882. This double-page Harper’s print depicts Yale football players demonstrating the various play basics of the game.