Edwin W Deming
(1860 - 1942)
Born in Ashland, Ohio, and raised on a homestead in Illinois, he studied art in New York and Paris. Deming traveled extensively among the Western tribes in the late 1880′s and through the 1890′s.
His first trip to the West was in 1887 when he visited the Apaches and the Pueblo Indians in the Southwest and the Umatillas in Oregon. He was best known as a muralist and received a letter from Frederic Remington in 1909 stating his intention to have Deming do “a panel or two” for the dining room of Remington’s new house in Connecticut.
However, during the same period his smaller canvases were also winning recognition for their evocation of the spiritual side of Indian life. He saw himself as the interpreter of the Indian’s soul and was given to quoting Remington to the effect, “Deming, the difference between your Indians and mine is that I saw my Indians through the sights of a rifle and you saw yours from inside the blanket in his tipi.” Indians owes a sizable debt to Remington’s great oil Ridden Down (Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth).
The situations are identical. A brave, pursued by an enemy war party, can run no further. Dismounted, he braces for his last stand. Club in hand, imperturbable in the face of death, he is the model of the stoical warrior. Where Remington showed a meeting between hostile plains tribes, Deming chose to underline the clash of different Indian cultures by giving his lone warrior the roach cut usually associated with the woodland tribes, though he could be thinking of a Pawnee.