11 April 2015

Frederic Remington

There was a memorial gathering for Winfield Fitz Randolph this afternoon. He had lived in Alfred until his wife Claire died in 2011, after which he went to live near his children in the North Country of New York State (near the Adirondacks, St Lawrence River, and Lake Champlain). Though I was acquainted with his sons and daughter from the 1960s, I don't think I'd seen them since then. Win and Claire were active in the Alfred Seventh-day Baptist Church so I had interacted with them in recent years, being back in Alfred.

The memorial gathering was hosted by the church in the Parish House parlors. I had helped (a little bit) in the setting up and was standing at the side as the folks came from the family graveside service to the reception. A woman came over and asked how I fit in the gathering. "A member of the church?" We got to talking and it turned out very quickly that we had Frederic Remington in common. She (Ann Spies, wife of Peter Fitz Randolph, son of Win and Claire) is on the board of the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, New York, so she knew about the Amon Carter Museum which has one of the premiere Remington collections. As a matter of fact, back in the 1950s, the Carter had bought a significant number of Remingtons from the Ogdensburg museum which was in great need of replacing the museum building's roof. Note that this was back in the day when museums were not as severely blacklisted as they are now for deaccessioning. The Remington Museum is now doing quite well and Ann spoke highly of the current director. As a further matter of fact, the museum's International Advisory Board is this weekend on a trip to Fort Worth for a gathering at the Carter.

Ann and Peter have lived in New York City so we had that ground to cover, along with "how do you find Alfred after living in the City?" Mostly it's OK but sometimes I really need a big dose of urban.

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