Super Bowl Bet Sends Broncho Buster to Seattle

Frederic Remington, The Broncho Buster, modeled 1895, cast by 1902, bronze. Denver Art Museum; The Roath Collection.

Thanks to Peyton Manning’s loss in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Art Museum is lending The Broncho Buster, an iconic Frederic Remington bronze, to the Seattle Art Museum for three months.When the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43–8 earlier this month, they also decided a bet between the art museum directors in their respective cities. Had Denver triumphed, Seattle initially planned to turn over a Native American bird mask to their Colorado rivals (both museums selected artworks that recall the animal in their team’s logo). Following protests from leaders of the Nuxalk First Nation in Canada’s British Columbia, Seattle changed their wager to a Japanese painted screen from 1901 that depicts an eagle on the seashore.

As she carefully packed away The Broncho Buster yesterday, museum preparator Amy Barrett wore a Broncos jersey. Still full of pride for the home team, museum staff decorated the packing crate that will carry the bronze statue to its temporary home with Denver logo decals. The journey to the Pacific Northwest is expected to take between 18 and 20 hours, although museum officials, citing security concerns, have not publicized the piece’s departure date.

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