Painter of Native American and animal subjects in the West beginning in 1887, sculptor, muralist, illustrator and writer Deming grew up with Native American playmates in western Illinois. He studied at the Art Students League until 1884, then in Paris for a year with Gustave Boulanger and Jules 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 what would later become Oregon. During 1889-90 he painted Native American portraits. 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 Outing magazine. The last article written by the two artists, “With Gun and Palette Among the Red Skins,” was illustrated by a third artist, Frederic Remington, who shared other illustrating assignments with Deming.
In 1916, Deming received an important commission for a set of murals depicting Native American life, which were subsequently installed in the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the American Indian. His paintings, “Mourning Brave” and “Buffalo Hunt,” are in the Smithsonian American Art 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. His historical painting, “Landfall of Jean Nicolet in Wisconsin,” was selected for a commemorative United States stamp. During WWI, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army, painting camouflage and serving as a marksman instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia. In addition, Deming illustrated his wife’s books on Native American life. He died in New York City, in 1942.