Item #8691 Remington in Cuba for Collier’s Weekly [One of Gomez’ Men]. Frederic Remington, after.

Sign up to receive email notices of recent acquisitions.

Remington, Frederic, after.

Remington in Cuba for Collier’s Weekly [One of Gomez’ Men].

New York: Collier’s Weekly, [ca. 1899]. Printed by H. A. Thomas & Wylie Lith. Co., N.Y. Lithograph, 22.75” x 16.75”, sheet size 24.125” x 18”, backed with larger sheet Japanese tissue. CONDITION: Very good, old horizontal fold.

A rare and dramatic poster depicting an Afro-Cuban revolutionary, based on a painting by Frederic Remington made for Collier’s Weekly during his coverage of the Spanish-American War.

Standing proudly with his gun, ammunition belt, bugle, and straw hat, the Afro-Cuban soldier shown on this poster was—as Remington’s original painting is titled—“One of Gomez’ Men.” In 1886, Cuba became the last Caribbean territory to abolish slavery, but until 1895, “white Cubans’ fear of a black takeover similar to the Haitian Revolution [had] hampered the nation’s struggle against Spanish colonialism” (Helg). When the rebellion began, it was Máximo Gómez y Báez (1836–1905), a white Dominican, who was put in charge of the Army, while Afro-Cuban general Antonio Maceo was second-in-command. Black Cubans are nevertheless remembered as the backbone of the Liberation Army. Public support of the Cuban cause was fueled in the United States by competition between Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal and when the United States entered the war, it supported Gomez’s forces, which had struggled to obtain sufficient supplies throughout the revolution. However, further collaboration between U.S. and Cuban forces never materialized, and the United States, intent on forestalling clashes between the Liberation Army and its own occupying forces, effectively paid the Cuban army to disband over the course of the spring and summer of 1899. Remington traveled to Cuba in the early summer of 1898, writing as a war correspondent for the New York Journal and illustrating for Harper’s Weekly. In April of the following year, he left Harper’s and began illustrating for Collier’s Weekly, which produced a similar poster after his painting of a U.S. soldier. Around the same time that he painted this Afro-Cuban revolutionary, Remington also painted “Disbanding Gomez’ Army” and “The Return of Gomez to Havana.”

Frederic Sackrider Remington (1861–1909) was born in Canton, New York, and grew up fascinated by the West. Although he studied art at Yale under John Henry Niemeyer in the late 1870s, he did not finish the curriculum, and instead traveled through the West, hunting, sheep ranching (without much gusto), and, briefly, owning a saloon. It was not until the mid-1880s that Remington returned east, where he began studying at the Art Students League of New York, and submitting work to Harper’s and Collier’s Weekly. His illustrations fed a growing fascination with the Old West, and in 1887, just a year after his first cover for Harper’s, he was commissioned to illustrate a serialized edition of Theodore Roosevelt’s Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, a project that began his friendship with the future President. “By the mid-1890s he was one of the most popular and successful illustrators of the age,” and in 1898 he traveled to Cuba to cover the Spanish-American War (National Gallery). His painting of Roosevelt and the “Rough Riders” during the Battle of San Juan Hill is one of the most iconic of the war.

We find no record of this poster at auction, nor are any examples recorded in OCLC. One example is held at the Amon Carter Museum. The original oil painting is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

REFERENCES: “Frederic Remington at the Met,” The MET online; “Frederic Remington,” the National Gallery of Art online; Helg, Aline. “Afro-Cubans in Cuba’s War for Independence, 1895–1898,” in Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin American: Race, Nation, and Community During the Liberal Period, ed. Nicola Foot and René D. Harder Horst (Gainesville, 2010) online.

Item #8691

Price: $3,500.00

See all items in Prints & Drawings
See all items by Frederic Remington, after