Museum Minute: Charles Carey Rumsey

May 4, 2020

The Buffalo Hunt by Charles Carey Rumsey
Credit Whitney Western Art Museum

Charles Carey Rumsey was an American sculptor who is most well known for depicting polo players and equestrian subjects. He was a pretty well known polo player himself. But occasionally, Rumsey went down the Western theme, depicting bison and horses. 

One of those sculptures was a low relief titled, The Buffalo Hunt. Karen McWhorter, the curator of the Whitney Western Art Museum, said this particular sculpture was commissioned. 

“Rumsey was hired by this New York railroad tycoon Edward Harriman. The artist made a live limestone carving of this composition for the fireplace of the Harriman mansion,” said McWhorter.

The sculpture actually inspired many different versions including a bronze version and one that still can be seen in New York City. 

“Rumsey tackled the subject again in a slightly different form for a series of monumental freezes that still decorate the Manhattan Bridge arch in New York City,” said McWhorter. 

Aside from his work, McWhorter said Rumsey actually ended up marrying Harriman’s daughter.