Ogdensburg's Remington Museum getting $100,000 toward new, permanent exhibit
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 5:42 pm

OGDENSBURG -- The Frederic Remington Art Museum, 303 Washington St., has received a $100,000 grant from The Robert F. and Eleonora W. McCabe Foundation.

Use of the gift is restricted, partly supporting a new, permanent exhibit of the art of Sally James Farnham, (1869-1943) Ogdensburg's other sculptor of significance.

This new exhibit helps launch the implementation of a strategic plan which calls for raising the quality of other exhibits at the museum to the level of the Newell Galleries where the Remington art is housed. Eventually, new exhibits will be installed throughout the museum's second floor as fundraising allows.

The proposed schedule for the Farnham exhibit calls for design and construction to take place in the winter of 2017/2018, with the exhibit opening in the summer of 2018.

The remainder of the gift, not spent directly on the Farnham exhibit, will be added to the museum's Long Term Investment Fund as The Robert F. and Eleonora W. McCabe Exhibitions Fund, a restricted endowment with annual income that benefits museum exhibits.

Farnham hailed from Ogdensburg, having grown up in the James household on Caroline Street. She lived on Long Island in her adult life, but returned to the community to visit her family, including her sister, Lucia Madill.

Sally James Farnham's work is part of Frederic Remington's artistic legacy. Farnham's and Remington's artistic lives were intertwined. It was Remington who advised Farnham to cast her sculptures at Roman Bronze Works, as he did.

Farnham regularly sought Remington's artistic advice as she approached new projects.

The museum is now home to the largest public collection of Farnham's work.

This exhibit will bring some important Farnham work literally into the light, shifting her sculptures from dark, high fireplace mantels, hallways and basement storage rooms into space of their own where they will be well seen, understood and appreciated.

Farnham was an artist of distinction, who sought and won important commissions for monuments, including the heroic bronze Simon Bolivar in New York's Central Park.

She was especially distinguished at portrait work. Among the works to be included in the exhibit are a bronze bas relief of Theodore Roosevelt, 1906, and the life-sized soldier that Farnham created to stand on the base of her 1905 monument in Ogdensburg's Library Park, The Spirit of Liberty.

The soldier's appearance was of particular interest to Frederic Remington, who advised Farnham on what he should carry and how it should be worn, right down to the smallest details: "Tuck his breeches in his socks, and don't make him slick. If you don't have that soldier so he suits me I will slander your d--- old monument."