Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Western Artist Remington Schuyler Lived, and Maintained a Studio, in Pelham

Many notable artists have lived in, were born in, or have connections with the Town of Pelham.  James Montgomery Flagg, Edward Penfield, and James Augustus Suydam are a few examples of such artists.  Another is Remington Schuyler, a famed American painter and illustrator during the first half of the 20th century.  Born in Buffalo, New York on July 8, 1884, Schuyler was named after Frederic Remington who was related to Schuyler's mother.  (His mother, Sarah Anna "Hidee" Remington, was a daughter of a nephew of Frederic Remington.)  Schuyler's father was William Schuyler, a public school teacher and, later, school admininstrator.

Remington Schuyler in an Undated Portrait.

Remington Schuyler was known for his paintings and illustrations of the Old West, Native Americans, and Boy Scouts.  While he lived in Pelham, Schuyler was extremely involved in the local Boy Scout program and combined his own love for Native American lore with his excitement for the local Scouting program.  

As a youngster, Remington Schuyler attended school in St. Louis, Missouri.  He graduated from McKinley High School where his father served as Principal.  He then studied art at Washington University in St. Louis and followed up with studies at the National Academy in Rome and the Academie Julian in Paris.  He also studied at the Art Students League in New York City and with Howard Pyle in Wilmington, Delaware.

Remington Schuyler married Anna Louise Ponder of Milton, Delaware on January 26, 1907.  The couple moved to 143 Tinker Street in Woodstock, New York and had a daughter named Hidee.  In 1916, the young Schuyler family moved to 76 Huguenot Street in New Rochelle, New York.  By at least 1923, the family moved to Pelham Manor and lived at various times on Grant Avenue and nearby Oak Lane.  Schuyler became heavily involved with the local Boy Scout program.  In 1927, Schuyler's wife abandoned him.  He remained in Peham Manor until 1929 when he moved to Westport, Connecticut.  On September 25, 1931, he was granted an uncontested divorce on the grounds that his wife had deserted him.

"Indian Guide," a Painting by Remington Schuyler
that Appeared on the Cover of the February 25, 1922
Issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

Remington Schuyler married a second time in 1933 when he married Marjorie Lamb.  The couple had two children:  Remington Jr., born in 1934, and Peter, born in 1936.  Marjorie died in December 1939.  Shortly after Marjorie's death, Remington Schuyler moved back to Pelham.  See Let's All Go Back to School, The Pelham Sun, Sep. 27, 1940, p. 7, cols. 5-6 (stating "The Sketching Class still proves popular with the local art circle.  Since the inception of the school many prominent illustrators have found the weekly meetings of the sketching group an excellent means of keeping posted on life drawing and also of great advantage for experimental work.  Among the first to enroll in the art group was Remington Schuyler noted illustrator who recently renewed his residence in the Pelhams.").

Schuyler married a third time in 1941 when he married Winnefred Clemmons.  The couple had a son, Jonathan, born in December, 1942.  During World War II however, Winnefred left Schuyler with the couple's son.  The marriage subsequently was annulled.

In December 1946, Schuyler married Mimi Deutchman.  The couple moved to Marshall, Missouri where Schuyler taught art classes at Missouri Valley College.  In March of 1954, Remington Schuyler and his fourth wife were divorced.  He died about a year and a half later, of cancer, on November 11, 1955 at the age of seventy-one.

According to one biography of Schuyler:

"After graduating from high school Schuyler went on to study at Washington University. He went on to receive scholarships to the National Academy in Rome and the Academie Julian in Paris after which he spent time studying at the Art Students League in New York with the influential draftsman, George Bridgman.  In 1906 Schuyler studied with Howard Pyle in Wilmington, Delaware.  Thanks to his association with Howard Pyle, Schuyler landed his first published illustration on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, which he was soon working regularly for along with Pearson's and Munsey's Magazine

In 1916 Schuyler moved to 76 Huguenot Street in New Rochelle, New York, a prestigious artist community with neighbors such as J.C. Leyendecker, and Norman Rockwell.  New Rochelle was also the home of his recently deceased namesake, Frederick Remington. 

After the Great war Schuyler worked steadily doing interior illustrations for Life, St. Nicholas and Century magazines.  He was also doing many pulp covers for FRONTIER STORIES, WEST, and SHORT STORIES.  During the 1920s he sold interior story illustrations to Life, St. Nicholas, and The Century.  He also painted cover illustrations for pulp magazines, such as Frontier Stories, Short Stories, and Wild West Weekly.  Schuyler did illustrations for Boys' Life and the Boy Scout Handbook as part of his thirty years service as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts.  Other books illustrated by Schuyler included Daniel Boone, Wilderness Scout by Stewart Edward White, Indian Hunting Grounds and Great White Buffalo.  He also was active as a mural painter and was editor of the Architectural Record for a period.  During the Depression years, he painted many covers for pulp magazines and worked as a muralist for the WPA artist's program in Connecticut."

Source:  Remington Schuyler, Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (visited May 17, 2015).

"Rosebud Indian Agency, South Dakota"
by Remington Schuyler.  36" x 24" Oil on Board.

Remington Schuyler's Time in Pelham

By 1923, Remington Schuyler already was involved in the Boy Scout program of Pelham.  He served as Second Vice President of the Local Boy Scout Committee.  By 1926, he served as a Director of the Pelham District of Siwanoy Council Incorporated, Boy Scouts of America and further served as Vice President of the organization.  He also founded the "Daniel Boone Society," an honorary group intended to recognize local Boy Scouts who excelled in their Scouting activities.

Schuyler shared his life's works freely in Pelham, including exhibitions such as one held at the local newspaper office in 1928 where his paintings were offered for sale at "very reasonable" prices and one held at the Manor Club during February 1928 (see below).  In addition, he maintained a substantial collection of Native American artifacts and paraphernalia that he used as models to assist with his paintings.  These materials he also freely shared with the public while he lived in Pelham Manor.  (See below.)

During July, 1926, Remington Schuyler led an initiative to create two secret organizations in Pelham dedicated to camping under the stars.  The organizations became known as the "Bull Chasers" and the "Laughing Horses."  According to one account quoted in full at the end of today's posting:

"The mysterious organizations had their birth early in July when eight Pelhamites pitched their first camp on the knoll [a knoll located in Wingdale, NY].  During the day, they were attacked by a bull who sought to dispute their right to the property.  Under the able leadership of Remington Schuyler they forced the bovine to seek other quarters.  From this they took their name, the Bull Chasers.  They have even been so brazen as to flaunt their banners to the sky.  The insignia of this patrol is a blue bunting bearing a charging red bull."

Remington Schuyler embraced the Pelhams with gusto.  In return, the community embraced Schuyler.  The local newspaper announced when he completed a major painting.  One such announcement noted:


Remington Schuyler of Pelham Manor has just completed another of his famous Indian paintings for the Clyde Steamship Line.  This latest work will hang in the salon of the new liner Iroquois.  The painting depicts two Iroquois chiefs from up the Hudson receiving tribute from a group of Manhattan Indians.  The picture is based on the fact that whenever the fierce and war-like Iroquois visited Manhattan Island, the Indians there, who were of a more peaceful nature, hastened to present them with many gifts in order that they would return home satisfied."

Source:  REMINGTON SCHUYLER COMPLETES PAINTING FOR S. S. IROQUOIS, The Pelham Sun, Jan. 28, 1927, p. 12, col. 2.  

Although Remington Schuyler left Pelham in 1929 and moved to Weston, Connecticut, the lure of the little Town was simply too great.  By 1940, Schuyler moved back to Pelham where he enjoyed a few more years of time, enriching the lives of his fellow Pelhamites. 

*          *          *          *          *

Although there are hundreds and hundreds of newspaper articles that mention Remington Schuyler and his activities while he lived in Pelham, below is the text of a number of interesting articles about the artist.  Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.  



A facinating rambling talk on his wanderings, his experiences and his ideas of art appreciation, given by Remington Schuyler, noted artist, of Pelham Manor, at the Manor Club on Friday afternoon was unique in its charm and in the fact that it was so different from the usual erudite lecture.

In arranging for this feature of the Art Section's contribution to the club's entertainment, Mrs. William T. Grant, section chairman, gave Mr. Schuyler carte blanche in the treatment of his subject.  'Wanderings of an Artist.'  It was well that she did, for no cut and dried presentation of the matter could ever have been so delightful as Mr. Schuyler's intimate and informal talk.

As an artist who has achieved real distinction as a painter of Indian subjects, and one who has familiarized himself with their lore and customs.  Mr. Schuyler exhibited of a number of native costumes with an explanation of the symbolism of the bead work that adorned them that was especially interesting.  He spoke of the years he had spent among the Indians in North Dakota, of the highly developed artistic sense that they possess.  To them, their homes, everything that they wear, are made beautiful as symbols of an idea of protection, adoration of the Great Spirit, or achievement in this life.

Mr. Schuyler gave some time to telling of his travels in Europe, especially in Italy.  Spontaneous laughter greeted him time and again as he described his old experiences.  He told of being mistaken for 'a queer foreigner' by a group of American tourists in Florence.  Their dismay upon learning that the 'nut' who was sketching a statute in a public square was one of their countrymen was amusing.  Mr. Schuyler deplored the fact that Americans are rather wont to see Europe simply as tourists, given to showing off and creating a false impression of American manners.  If they would endeavor to appreciate the spirit of the Old World, understand the people, they would come home much the richer in culture.

He characterized an artist as a creator, and as a creator he lives in a world distinctly his own.  An artist must possess the sensitiveness of the feminine mind as well as the striking power of the masculine.  Whether the artist is a man or a woman, he is sensitive, always fearing for the reception of his brain-child by the world of out-siders.  He warned his listeners never to criticize too cruelly a painting or sculpture, lest by the process they reduce the artist to a limp rag for a week or two.

It would seem that to be really appreciated in this day, an artist must either be dead or in an asylum.  Mr. Schuyler related an amusing anecdote of a well-known artist whose works were valueless until a mental malady sent him to an insane asylum.  After his commitment, his paintings, which no one would buy before, suddenly were in great demand and sold for enormous prices.  A group of well-meaning friends collected the revenue from these sales and succeeded in obtaining the release of the artist, whereupon his works again became worthless.

In all seriousness, however, Mr. Schuyler pleaded for a more active appreciation of art in this country.  If Americans will develop their homes and ornament them with their thoughts, ,we shall soon have our own American art and a real appreciation of the art of other countries."

Source:  THE MANOR CLUB:  REMINGTON SCHUYLER DELIGHTS HIS OFFICE, The Pelham Sun, Feb. 12, 1926, p. 7, cols. 4-5.  

"Remington Schuyler and Stacy Wood Paintings At Manor Club Art Exhibit
Work Of Two Local Artists Attracting Wide Attention.  Many Striking Studies Shown

Two artists are exhibiting at the Manor Club this month.  They are, Remington Schuyler of Pelham Manor and Stacey Wood of North Pelham.  

In an interesting art exhibit, which he has titled 'The Life of an Artist,' Remington Schuyler shows various stages in the career of a successful artist.  A series of reproductions, paintings and sketches, graphically represents every year since the artist embarked on his chosen profession.  There is a dominating trend toward the familiar Indian and Western atmosphere which has characterized the work of Mr. Schuyler for many years.  In the exhibit are many striking representations of Indian Life as well as other themes with which Mr. Schuyler's name is not so popularly associated.

A deep toned seascape showing the ships of the Vikings sailing on their quest of booty and discovery has attracted many who inspected the exhibit during the last week.

The series begins with photographs of parents and grandparents, then follows at least one study for every year since the first crude sketches of the student, inspired to submit a drawing for a high school magazine.  Evidence of public favor is shown in the first illustrations accepted for magazine cover designs.  Years of the war are depicted by specimens of the camofleur's art.  An excellent study of Marschal Ferdinand Foch illustrates Schuyler's association with the French leader on his visit to the United States.  Success of later years is shown in reproductions of many recent magazine covers and in the many beautiful western studies.  The sketches exhibited by Stacey Wood show many of the intricate map studies for which this artist is known.  Mr. Woodd is a master of interpreting nervous energy in the pygmy figures which cleverly illustrate the industry of the districts covered by his maps.  Mr. Wood also exhibits several interior and intimate sketches, which have aroused great interest.

The exhibits will continue through this month."

Source:  Remington Schuyler and Stacy Wood Paintings At Manor Club Art Exhibit -- Work Of Two Local Artists Attracting Wide Attention.  Many Striking Studies Shown, The Pelham Sun, Feb. 17, 1928, p. 3, col. 1.  

"Schuyler Indian Museum Displayed
Relics of Early American Indian Collected by Noted Artist Seen at New Rochelle

The American Indian relic collection of Remington Schuyler noted artist of Pelham Manor, is now on display in the show window of H. L. Stratton Co., at No. 144 Huguenot St., New Rochelle.  The collection is regarded as one of the most complete of private collections and has been used by the artist in many of his Indian pictures for which he is noted.  It includes garments, tents, tomahawks, arrows, bows, cooking utensils arrayed in a manner depicting the mode of living of the early American.

Great interest in the collection has been displayed by the boy scout troops of the Pelhams and New Rochelle.  Mr. Schuyler has made the Indian museum his hobby and is an authority on Indian lore having devoted much tie to the study of the Indian and his mode of living."

Source:  Schuyler Indian Museum Displayed -- Relics of Early American Indian Collected by Noted Artist Seen at New Rochelle, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 20, 1926, p. 10, col. 3.  

"Bull Chasers and Laughing Horses Trailed to Lairs
Pelham Sun Makes Startling Discoveries As to Identity of Members of Mysterious Organizations.  First Pictures of Two Patrols Who Hold Monthly Revels Beside Campfire

'Hello!  Bull Chaser.' 

'Hello! you laughing Horse.'

'Ha. Ha.  de water.'

Commuters hustling through Grand Central Terminal paused iin their haste at such barnyard greetings, expecting to see all manner of domestic animals which would provoke such a greeting, were surprised to find only two apparently sound minded Pehamites slapping each other on the back in hearty greeting.

'It must be the heat,' they decided and the pair were left to themselves lost in their own thoughts, unmindful of the crowds of commuters seething around them.  

'Are yu going next time?'  

'You bet I am.  Say didn't Fred Schall look like the real thing as that Hindu fakir?

'Yeah!  And that thing he was blowing sounded like my kid's ten cent horn, but the snake liked it.'

'Well Bull Chaser just watch us Laughing Horses give yu the horse laugh this time.  We've got more horse sense now and we'll show you something.'

'Is that so, why we can chase more than bulls and we don't mind taking on Laughing Horses.  Well, Goo bi.' 

'Goo bi.'

The office sleuth learning of the above mysterious meeting endeavored to track down the story for the readers of the Pelham Sun.

He is now prepared to make some startling disclosures.

The following prominent Pelhamites are Bull Chasers.  We dare them to deny it.  Remington Schuyler, Fred Wirth, Fred P. Schall, Clyde Howes, Walter H. McIlroy, Jacob Wirth, Stacy Wood, and Walter Schalaefer.

Also the following are Laughing Horses:  William Brooks Brown, Fred. T. Kennett, Henry E. Dey, John H. Young, Ed Browne, Terence E. Felix, and Robert W. McConnochle.

These organizations meet once a month on a knoll at Wingdale, N.Y.  There by the light of a big fire they hold a conclave.  For several hours their revelry resounds through the hills of Dutchess County, after which they seek their rest under the stars to prepare for the following day when they rove this wilderness until they return to their homes late that night.

Their revels are generally attended by other such mysterious organizations from New Rochelle, Port Chester and Mamaroneck.

E. K. Jordan, of Chester Park, prominent as a Scout Executive of the Siwanoy Council, is the grand high chief of the conclave.  The various patrols obey his slightest command.  It is believed that Jordan has gained such power over his patrols through his never failing commissary department.  Many additional members of the organizations have been attracted to the council fire by reports of the rations which are distributed by high chief.

These meetings are held monthly on the site of the new Siwanoy Council camp at Wingdale.  The members who are all interest in Boy Scouts come in cars, pitch their tents and for two days are lost to the cares of the outer world, and according to reports they find their boyhood again romping the hills and swimming in the mountain stream that runs across the property. 

The mysterious organizations had their birth early in July when eight Pelhamites pitched their first camp on the knoll [a knoll located in Wingdale, NY].  During the day, they were attacked by a bull who sought to dispute their right to the property.  Under the able leadership of Remington Schuyler they forced the bovine to seek other quarters.  From this they took their name, the Bull Chasers.  They have even been so brazen as to flaunt their banners to the sky.  The insignia of this patrol is a blue bunting bearing a charging red bull.

The secret of the Bull Chasers leaked out and at the second conclave another patrol joined them.  The discovery of the skull of a horse and its grotesque appearance with jaws opened was inspiration for the name of the second patrol Laughing Horse.

Several noted characters appeared at the last campfire.  They included 'Big Chief Dirty Dishpan,' 'Black Bill the Pirate,' 'Mr. Feitlebaum,' 'Hindu snake charmer,' 'Hunyadi Janos' and 'Fatima' the dancer.  The Pelham Sun issues a challenge to the Bull Chasers to deny that those characters were not Remington Schuyler, Fred Wirth, Walter H. McIlroy, Fred P. Schall and Stacy Wood.

The mysterious password of the organizations 'Ha ha de Water,' is a gross exaggeration of the name Minnehaha from Longfellow's Hiawatha.

The Pelham Sun has received information that the big camp fire will again be lighted on the knoll on the night of Saturday Sept. 11.

Will you be there?

'Ha ha de water.'"

Source:  Bull Chasers and Laughing Horses Trailed to Lairs -- Pelham Sun Makes Startling Discoveries As to Identity of Members of Mysterious Organizations.  First Pictures of Two Patrols Who Hold Monthly Revels Beside Campfire, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 27, 1926, p. 4, cols. 1-3.  

Notice the piratical appearance of the band.  Left to right:
Remington Schuyler, Walter Schlaefer, W. H. McIlroy,
Clyde Howes, Jacob Wirth, F. P. Schall, Fred Wirth and Stacy Wood."
Aug. 27, 1926, p. 4, cols. 1-3.  NOTE:  Click Image to Enlarge.

Grotesque Totem Pole of Laughing Horse
Patrol Erected at Wingdale, N. Y."
Aug. 27, 1926, p. 4, cols. 1-3.  NOTE:  Click Image to Enlarge.

Fred P. Schall as Hunyadi Janos, Hindu
Snake Charmer who appeared at campfire
of Bullchasers"
Aug. 27, 1926, p. 4, cols. 1-3.  NOTE:  Click Image to Enlarge.


Schuyler Exhibit

Scouts, here's your opportunity to get one of Remington Schuyler's original paintings.  The Pelham Sun is conducting an exhibition of his work at the Sun office and you may purchase these pictures very reasonably."

Source:  SCOUT NEWS, The Pelham Sun, Apr. 20, 1928, p. 3, cols. 1-2.  

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At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remington Schuyler's bull chasers started much earlier than newspaper account, as evident by his many cover signatures with their red bull insignia. Example is the Saturday Evening post cover shown with Indian in your blog post.


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