Painter of Indian and animal subjects in the West beginning 1887, sculptor, muralist, illustrator, writer
Deming grew up with Indian playmates in western Illinois. He studied at the Art Students League until 1884, then in Paris for a year with Boulanger and Lefebvre. From 1885 to 1887 he painted cycloramas. His first Western trip was in 1887 when he visited the Apaches and the Pueblo Indians in the Southwest and the Umatillas in Oregon. During 1889-90 he painted Indian portraits. His Indian paintings, which were first exhibited in 1891 included The Grand Charge That Ended the Fight against Custer. In 1893 he teamed with fellow artist DeCost Smith traveling West to write and illustrate “Sketching Among the Sioux” and “Sketching Among the Crow Indians” for the magazine Outing. The last article written by the two artist, “With Gun and Palette Among the Red Skins,” was illustrated by a third artist, Frederic Remington, who shared other illustrating assignments with Deming.
Deming’s 1916 murals of Indian life are in the American Museum of Natural History and in the Museum of the American Indian. His paintings Mourning Brave and Buffalo Hunt are in the National Museum. As a sculptor, he modeled only a few small bronze studies between 1905 and 1910. The bronzes The Fight and Mutual Surprise are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Deming illustrated his wife’s books on Indian life. His historical painting Landfall of Jean Nicholet was selected for a commemorative US stamp. During WWI, he served as a captain in the US Army’s camouflage department at Camp Benning, Georgia.
Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing