A Horse of Course: The Equine Image in Art
A Horse of Course: The Equine Image in Art
Recent Acquisitions: Benson and Pleissner
Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration
Thrill of the ‘Chace: Steeplechase in Art
Highlights from the Permanent Collection
In Bronze: Herbert Haseltine
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Join us in welcoming two new acquisitions by Herbert Haseltine: Percheron Stallion: Rhum and Percheron Mare: Messaline and Foal. These one-third life-size bronze sculptures were part of Haseltine’s well-known British Champion Animal series. He spent over a decade creating sculptures of prize-winning animals that included horses, cattle, rams, sheep, and boars in a range of sizes and mediums. Known for his equines, the other horse sculptures in this exhibition are from the NSLM’s permanent collection and provide a broader context for Rhum and Messaline and Foal. As these bronzes show, whether it was playing with the patina (color) or finding the perfect composite horse, Haseltine enjoyed experimenting with his work.
Leading the Field: Ellen Emmet Rand
In 1936, on the heels of painting an official presidential portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ellen Emmet Rand held a solo exhibition. Though she had been a professional portrait artist for over three decades, this show was a departure from the paintings of captains of industry, socialites, artists, and children for which she had become known. The exhibition, Sporting Portraits by Ellen Emmet Rand, N.A., was held at The Sporting Gallery & Bookshop in New York City, and subjects included well-known sporting figures such as Fletcher Harper, Master of the Orange County Hunt (now Orange County Hounds); Dr. Howard Collins, Master of Millbrook Hunt; and Charlotte Noland, founder of the prestigious Foxcroft School and Joint-Master of Middleburg Hunt.
The exhibition Leading the Field: Ellen Emmet Rand and accompanying catalog gather together many of the same paintings from Rand’s 1936 show, as well as others, to bring to life the stories, personalities, and relationships behind these works. Rand lived a remarkable life as one of the first successful, professional female artists in the United States. She was a lifelong equestrian, active in American foxhunting circles, and proved to be significant within the context of sporting history and culture during the first half of the 20th century.
Pencil, Pen, and Brush Paul Brown: An Illustrated Life
Enjoy NSLM's new exhibition Pencil, Pen, and Brush Paul Brown: An Illustrated Life, curated by Visitor Services Associate and NSLM intern, Grace Pierce, in the Library's Forrest E. Mars Sr. Gallery. This exhibition is the culmonation of Grace Pierce's Masters project at the University of St. Andrews. It includes sketches and drawings from the Nancy Searles Collection that have not been seen publicly. Nancy Searles is Paul Brown's daughter.
Traveling Exhibition: A Brief History of Black Horsemen in Racing
A Brief History of Black Horsemen in Racing is a traveling poster exhibition organized by James Madison’s Montpelier and provides a succinct account of African Americans in horse racing, from grooms to trainers to jockeys. It examines the rich African American cultural history in the sport that was under-recognized until recent years when new scholarship began to be developed.
Canter & Crawl: The Glass Sculpture of Joan Danziger
Canter & Crawl: The Glass Sculpture of Joan Danziger, presents a solo show of the DC-based, contemporary artist’s latest work. Stimulating the imagination, Danziger’s vibrant wire and glass-shard sculptures are inspired by the spirit of the horse and the jewel-like nature of insects.Her sculptures are universal, speaking to art connoisseurs and children alike. Danziger has produced over 145 beetles since 2010, thirty of which are included in the exhibition, Canter & Crawl: The Glass Sculpture of Joan Danziger, as a backdrop for her equine exploration begun in 2016. The National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) is the premier venue for Danziger’s bold unrestrained horses born from her imagination.
NSLMology: The Science of Sporting Art
This Spring, NSLM melds art with science to create NSLMology: The Science of Sporting Art, an exhibition for explorers of all ages! Visitors are invited to experience scientific principles within three centuries of paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and hands-on activities. Get up close and personal with the physics of locomotion and identify meteorological patterns, ecology, the science of colors, and even chemistry.
Locomotion: Horses gallop faster than human eyes can comprehend. How was this mystery of motion solved?
Weather: Wind, water cycles, and cloud types are all on display for scientific inquiry.
Ecology: What plants and animals do we find in the wild, and what do they eat to survive?
Color theory: How do artists mix colors to show temperature and mood?
Chemistry: How many states of matter are used to create bronze sculptures? What elements make up the alloy bronze?
Enjoy highlights from the National Sporting Library & Museum’s permanent collection in an entirely fresh way as a self-guided experience or contact us to book a group tour. Contact Clarice & Robert H. Smith Educator Anne Marie Paquette at email@example.com or 540-687-6542 ext. 25.
Deconstructed: The NSLM Sporting Screen
Deconstructed: The NSLM Sporting Screen centers on a unique decorative object from the NSLM’s permanent collection. Recently conserved, the four-panel screen is comprised of paintings and prints showing 18th century racing portraits on one side and manège training (an early form of dressage) on the other. The exhibit will cast light on a captivating era in British sport, art, and literature.
In art and sport, the poised equestrian riding aside embodies the essence of elegance, power, and grace. Hidden beneath the flowing skirts of the rider is the sidesaddle, the design of which has evolved dramatically in response to the physical demands of sporting women (and sometimes men) requiring a firm seat as they began to meet the challenges of jumping and galloping across the countryside.
Sidesaddle, 1690-1935, will present a revealing perspective on the history and culture of women as equestrians, their depictions in sporting art, and the evolution of sidesaddle tack and attire represented in British, Continental, and American art from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The exhibition will showcase over sixty paintings, works on paper, and sculptures on loan from museums and private collections. Co-curators Dr. Ulrike Weiss, Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and Claudia Pfeiffer, the George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Curator of Art at NSLM, are contributing essays to the accompanying catalog.
On Fly in the Salt
On Fly in the Salt: American Saltwater Fly Fishing from the Surf to the Flats is a curated journey through time, filled with the people, places, and innovations that have made saltwater fly fishing one of the fastest growing sectors of the exciting and dynamic angling industry. Visitors will enjoy tracing the history of saltwater fly fishing through displays of evolving tackle, ranging from fascinating home improvements on early equipment to the incredibly efficient gear of today that allow saltwater anglers to successfully target fish in ways that were inconceivable not long ago. Displays will also include a remarkable photographic record from the earliest days of the sport.
This traveling exhibition was organized by the American Museum of Fly Fishing and generously sponsored at the National Sporting Library & Museum by Tim and Jocelyn Greenan.
Highlights from the Collection: Sporting Dogs by Reuben Ward Binks
Over 40 original watercolors by English artist Reuben Ward Binks (1880-1950) were donated to the National Sporting Library & Museum in 2017 as part of a generous bequest from the late Mrs. Elizabeth Dunn Clark of Middleburg. Binks was a popular painter of dogs who was commissioned by patrons throughout England and America to depict prized hounds, gun dogs, and pets. The collection now on view features portraits of sporting dogs, primarily Labrador Retrievers, from the 1920s. Many of the dogs shown were from the Banchory kennel of the English sporting dog enthusiast Countess Lorna Curzon Howe (c.1890-1961). Created during a time when the Labrador was becoming increasingly popular, these charming portraits offer a snapshot of the retriever breed from this era.
Recent Acquisition: Ralla
The National Sporting Library & Museum is pleased to announce its newest addition to the permanent collection, Ralla: Harry Payne Whitney’s Champion Polo Pony, No. 2 by American sculptor Herbert Haseltine (1877-1962). The 1910 bronze is a 1/3 scale size portrait of Whitney’s top polo pony, the Irish-bred chestnut mare Ralla. In 1909, Whitney and Ralla led the American polo team to victory against the English team in the Westchester Cup, now known as the International Polo Cup. The mare was one of Whitney’s favorites and, despite a reputation for being difficult to handle, was a fast and talented mount.
Thanks to funding generously donated by Jacqueline B. Mars, Ralla now joins four other works by Haseltine in the NSLM collection. The sculptures are on view in a special installation in the Museum, August 8 – August 26, 2018.
A Sporting Vision: The Paul Mellon Collection of British Sporting Art from the VMFA
The National Sporting Library & Museum is the opening venue for the major traveling exhibition of eighty-four paintings organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) with representative masterpieces of the genre—including works by George Stubbs, Sir Francis Grant, John Frederick Herring, Benjamin Marshall, and George Morland— celebrates Paul Mellon’s gift of British sporting art to the VMFA. It also proposes a fresh look at sporting art within wider social and artistic contexts, including the scientific and industrial revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries, the transformation of the British countryside, the evolutionary history of the horse and other animals, and society’s changing habits and customs.
A Sporting Vision: The Paul Mellon Collection of British Sporting Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was curated by Dr. Mitchell Merling, the VMFA's Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art, and the catalog was written by Dr. Colleen Yarger, Researcher and Curatorial Assistant of the VMFA's Paul Mellon Collections.
A Sporting Vision:
Hardcover Exhibition Catalog
This exhibition is made possible at the National Sporting Library & Museum with support from:
Mrs. Frances Massey Dulaney
Dr. and Mrs. Manuel H. Johnson
Michelle and B. Tim Brookshire
YHB | CPAs & Consultants
The Horse and the Camera: From the Judith & Jo Tartt, Jr. Photography Collection
Capturing the horse at rest and in motion has been an obsession for many since the advent of the camera. From the first frames of a horse at full gallop from Edweard Muybridge's Animal Locomotion and well into the 20th century, photographers were fascinated with the imagery of a horse standing still and the grace and power of equine movement. This exhibition shows a brief timeline of vintage and antique equine photographs from the pinnacle of black-and-white photography on loan from the private collection of Judith and Jo Tartt, Jr. Guests to the NSLM will experience the changes in photographic imagery and horsemanship over the course of a century! The Horse and the Camera: From the Judith & Jo Tartt, Jr. Photography Collection is made possible through the generous support of Mr. & Mrs. Charles T. Akre.
The Horse in Ancient Greek Art
Organized by the National Sporting Library & Museum and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
From myth and legend, to warfare and transportation, to leisure, sport, and Olympic competition, the horse played an integral role in ancient Greek culture. As symbols of wealth, power, and status, horses appear on the finest examples of ancient art and pottery. Imagery of both mythical and real horses fill Greek mythology, legend, and history and appear throughout ancient art. Vase-paintings depicting chariot horses being harnessed, jockeys riding, and grooms tending to well-bred steeds celebrate ancient sport and competition. Scenes of the care, training, and competition of the ancient sport horse and ancient texts on the Greek art of horsemanship bear striking resemblances to the horsemanship of today.
The Horse in Ancient Greek Art features Greek vases, sculpture, and coins from the 8th through the 4th centuries BCE drawn from private collections, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Tampa Museum of Art, and other museum collections. The exhibition and accompanying publication explore the significance of the horse in ancient Greek culture, and imagery of the horse in ancient myth, war, sport, and competition. From some of the earliest examples of the horse in Greek art, to stunning examples of black and red-figure vases, the objects on view illustrate ancient equestrian life.
The exhibition begins with early images of horses on objects from the Geometric Period (c. 900–700 BCE), named for the geometric patterns and intricate designs found on artwork from the era. From there, objects from the Archaic through the Classical Period (which ended in 323 BCE) are organized by key subjects. Myth and legend are illustrated with mythological horses and horse-hybrids, such as the famous winged-horse, Pegasos, and centaurs. The horse in war is depicted with scenes of ancient cavalry and chariots, followed by hunting, which was considered good training for both war and for competitive events. Horsemanship is explored with images of grooms tending their charges and examples of ancient tack. Finally, vases and coins showing equestrian sport reveal the significance of competition in the ancient Greek world and highlight the skills and accomplishments of ancient equestrians.
The Horse in Ancient Greek Art is made possible in part by support from
Frances Massey Dulaney
other private donors
Published by the National Sporting Library & Museum in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts/Distributed by Yale University Press (September 2017).
Edited by co-curators Nicole Stribling, the Curator of Permanent Collections at the National Sporting Library & Museum and Peter Schertz, the Jack and Mary Ann Frable Curator of Ancient Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
The fully illustrated publication features essays by notable scholars of ancient Greek art and archaeology: Seán Hemingway, Curator, Greek and Roman Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Carol Mattusch, Mathy Professor Emerita of Art History, George Mason University; John Oakley, Chancellor Professor and Forrest D. Murden Jr. Professor of Classical Studies, The College of William and Mary in Virginia; Seth D. Pevnick, Chief Curator and Richard E. Perry Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Tampa Museum of Art; and exhibition co-curator, Peter Schertz; with an introduction by co-curator Nicole Stribling.
National Sporting Library & Museum, Middleburg, Virginia, September 9, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, February 17 – July 8, 2018
Andre Pater: In a Sporting Light
The bold and vibrant compositions of contemporary sporting artist Andre Pater (Polish-American, b. 1953) are often compared to those of the great 20th-century British sporting artist Sir Alfred Munnings. Pater’s refinement in pastels in addition to the classic medium of oil solidifies his rightful place as an illustrious artist in the 21st century.
Works from collections across the country will be represented in the retrospective exhibition, Andre Pater: In a Sporting Light. “Go beyond the mere image, and the painting becomes a ‘matter of light,’ ” notes sporting art authority and National Sporting Library & Museum Board Member Lorian Peralta-Ramos of Pater’s work. “Horses, colorful jockeys’ silks, hounds, and cattle are all textures and as surfaces, each have their own particular reflective properties.” The retrospective exhibition and accompanying catalog present an in-depth analysis of Pater’s mastery of the use of light and insightful understanding of animal anatomy and behavior.
Recent Acquisitions: Orme’s Collection of British Field Sports
A complete set of Orme’s Collection of British Field Sports: Illustrated in Twenty Beautifully Coloured Engravings from Designs by S. Howitt was recently donated by George and Susan Matelich and Family. The series of 22 prints was published by Edward Orme of London between 1807 and 1808 and features scenes of hunting, shooting, and racing. Samuel Howitt (English, 1765-1822) was an artist known for his images of hunting, animals, and equestrian scenes. He collaborated with five different engravers on this series. The prints were not published in numerical order, resulting in some discrepancies in numbering (Plate No. 8 is numbered with Roman numerals, and Plate No. 18 is un-numbered). The technique of aquatinting, so named because the resulting prints have the look of watercolor and ink, was popular among English printmakers of the late 18th and 19th century. This set includes some of Howitt's best works and was a prized collection piece among early 19th-century collectors.
Now on view in the Museum through July.
The Chronicle of the Horse in Art
The Chronicle of the Horse in Art and accompanying catalogue present the rich variety and depth of the classic, iconic, and contemporary sporting art that graced the covers of The Chronicle of the Horse for almost seventy years. A selection of 46 American, British, and Continental oil paintings, watercolors, and sculptures celebrate the horse in art in its broad range of expression chronicled by the magazine and convey the rich history and highlights of equine sports which have been followed by the equestrian world for generations. Iconic 18th and 19th century sporting artists such as George Stubbs, Benjamin Marshall, and John Ferneley, Sr. and artists who attained success in the 20th century, many during their lifetime, such as Jean Bowman, Sir Alfred Munnings, James Lynwood Palmer, and Richard Stone Reeves were featured. By the 1960s, The Chronicle of the Horse had also distinguished itself by highlighting "young painters just getting started, obviously with still a long way to go, but with enough apparent talent to justify a leg up."
To the Finish: The Art & Process of Greg Montgomery
To the Finish: The Art & Process of Greg Montgomery delves into the artist’s creative process. The show of thirty-five fine art prints and preparatory materials features Montgomery's early serigraphs (silkscreen prints), drawings, and cut-paper studies as well as giclées printed with the innovative ink-jet printing technology which was embraced by fine art print makers by the mid-1990s for the resulting realistic colors, detail, and faithfulness to the original medium.
Montgomery states of his process, “When beginning a drawing or illustration, it is the composition of a scene that catches my eye. I see the shapes, the darks and lights, the colors and balance or tensions within the scene. I seek to simplify what I see into flat solid shapes of color with hard edges and high contrast, creating strong focal points and aligning elements within the artwork to focus your view.”
This exhibit is sponsored by NSLM Vice Chairman of the Board Mrs. Jacqueline B. Mars and David E. Greenhill.
The French Horse from Géricault to Picasso: Works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
"Omnipresent in 19th-century France, the horse was portrayed in every manner and style by all types of artists,” note organizers of The French Horse From Géricault to Picasso: Works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition was organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) from its collections including the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. More than 40 major paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by artists as varied as Pablo Picasso, Antoine- Louis Barye, Edgar Degas, and Théodore Géricault represent every major movement in French art from Romanticism to Fauvism.
The equine-themed exhibition featuring several horse-racing subjects will hold strong appeal for NSLM members and visitors. Included among the works traveling to Middleburg are Pablo Picasso’s Jester on Horseback, a 1905 large oil on composition board from the artist’s French-influenced Rose Period (for which NSLM will be the only venue); two paintings by Alfred de Dreux; two sculptures and two pencil studies by Edgar Degas; Raoul Dufy’s vibrant watercolor on paper, Champ de Courses a Deauville, ca. 1937; and two significant bronzes by les animaliers Isidore-Jules Bonheur and Pierre-Jules Mêne.
Line Dance - The Art of Fly Fishing by Peter Corbin
“How do you start a painting? Go fishing. Experience the awe. See the fish, the land, and the seascape. Take notes with your mind, camera, or sketch book. Gather all the information you can in every way you can.” – Peter Corbin
This 10-minute slide show of still images narrated by noted sporting artist Peter Corbin accompanies his exhibition, Line Dance - The Art of Fly Fishing by Peter Corbin. The artist delves into his artistic inspirations, his meticulous painting process, and his philosophy on creating art - all rooted in a lifetime passion for fly fishing and the outdoors. The video includes a series of photographs taken by Corbin showing the progression of his 20 x 30-inch oil painting, Line Dance, from idea to completion. (Video uploaded to YouTube with the permission of the artist and produced by Emery Ruger, Ledgerock Studio. The video remains copyright of Peter Corbin, 2016)
Side-by-Side with Gun & Dog
Side-by-Side with Gun & Dog explores the quintessential relationship between gunning enthusiasts and gun dogs in eighteenth- through twentieth-century British, European, and American portraits and landscapes. This ambitious loan exhibition organized by the NSLM brings together over forty paintings and sculpture from public and private collections by such important artists as: Benjamin Marshall, Richard Ansdell, Thomas Hewes Hinckley, Charles Olivier de Penne, William Tylee Ranney, Arthur Burdett Frost, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, and Percival Rosseau. The works represent many changes over time. Among these differences are: nationalities, participants, dog breeds, conformation (the shape or structure of an animal), firearms technology, game laws, types of game, the landscape, and artistic styles. The exhibition explores these changes, but at the same time reinforces the foundation of the sport - the rapport between the human figure and the canine which remains a constant throughout. An exhibition catalog will be available mid-October. To pre-order, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Brown from the Permanent Collection
A special exhibition of works by American illustrator Paul Desmond Brown (1893 - 1958) from the NSLM permanent collection will be on view August 29, 2015 to January 17, 2016. Approximately 25 works, including original pencil and ink drawings, sketches, and watercolor, will be on display. Original pencil drawings from some of Brown’s most popular books Spills and Thrills (1933), Ups and Downs (1936), and Good Luck and Bad (1940) will be on view for the first time. The exhibition highlights Brown’s steeplechase images from the 1930s.
In conjunction with this exhibition, NSLM will be publishing the Inaugural Llangollen Race Meeting Sketchbook. This collection of previously unpublished sketches by Paul Brown documents the glamorous steeplechase held at Llangollen Farm, in Upperville, Virginia, in 1931. The book features an essay by racing historian Dorothy Ours. The book will now available for purchase. Click here to learn more or order your copy.
Part of the Pack: The Hunt at Petworth, Colin Barker Photography
Fifteen foxhunting, kennel, and puppy show scenes have been selected from the Part of the Pack: The Hunt at Petworth series to be exhibited at the NSLM. The entire series, comprised of sixty archival photographic prints, captures a behind-the-scenes portrayal of life with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt. It was first presented in 2012 at Lord and Lady Egremont’s family stables at the historic Petworth House estate in England. Colin Barker notes that he formed the collection of mostly black and white images to “create a link between the undulating, picturesque landscape of the South Downs in Southern England and the gritty reality of day-to-day life for the huntsman and his hounds at the kennels.”
Beverley Sanford McConnell: Portraits in Poetry
Beverley Sanford McConnell: Portraits in Poetry pays tribute to the champion equitation rider, horse trainer, riding instructor, and Middleburg-area resident Beverley Sanford McConnell (1919 –2013). McConnell was also a painter, sculptor, and poet for her personal enrichment. She began her training at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City, where she was awarded a medal for line drawing at the age of 14, and continued her studies at the Art Students’ League of New York for three years.
Even though the budding artist showed talent at an early age, her family notes that she was too shy to pursue a career in the arts. McConnell, however, left behind a personal and endearing body of work that echoes her love of horses and ponies. Portraits in Poetry: A Little Horse Book of paintings, drawings, and poetry by Beverley McConnell, compiled in 2012 by Beverley Bryant to document her mother’s work, was the impetus for the exhibition that is being presented in the Library’s Forrest E. Mars, Sr. Exhibit Hall.
Art & The Animal, 2014/2015 Society of Animal Artists Traveling Exhibition
The National Sporting Library & Museum is pleased to be the final venue to host Art and the Animal, the 54th annual Society of Animal Artists’ (SAA) exhibition. Art and the Animal refers to both the juried annual exhibition and the smaller traveling exhibit that is generated from it. This year’s exhibition opened with 125 paintings at the Wildlife Experience, a wildlife conservation museum in Parker, Colorado, on August 23, 2014. From this, sixty paintings, works on paper, and sculptures of domestic and wild animals were chosen by the SAA Selection Jury to travel. This selection was on view at two other venues before coming to the NSLM.
The mission of the Society of Animal Artists is to promote excellence in the portrayal of animals, domestic and/or wild, in art. The Society was founded in 1960 and boasts almost 500 members from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.
organized by David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Tour Director
Sporting Accoutrements: Still Lifes of Henry Koehler
Twenty-four intimate and contemplative paintings of fox and stag hunting, racing, polo, fishing, and shooting paraphernalia by the recognized sporting painter Henry Koehler have been brought together to highlight the artist’s deep knowledge and almost hallowed respect for the objects he paints, evoking the very nature of their use. These often quiet, introspective works convey Koehler’s artistic sense of observation, color, and composition and echo the sentiments of sporting and art enthusiasts, both past and present. An elegant, articulate, and sophisticated man, Koehler has easily moved through international sporting circles sketching and painting many of the major race courses and tracks, polo events, and hunts in the U.S., England, France, and Italy throughout his career. He has touched on, not just equestrian pursuits, but most all of the traditional turf and field sports in his work. The eighty-eight-year-old artist has had over seventy solo museum and gallery exhibitions since his first in 1961 and may still be found at his easel.
Faithfulness to Nature: Paintings by Edward Troye
Faithfulness to Nature: Paintings by Edward Troye, on view from October 26, 2014 to March 29, 2015 explores the artist’s place within American art history, and his important role in creating visual documentation of the development of American Thoroughbred bloodlines and this country’s rich racing heritage and culture. Highlights include many of Troye’s most recognized portrayals of important race horses, jockeys, and trainers active in this country during the antebellum period; the artist’s first known surviving animal drawing; two acclaimed mural-sized paintings, A Bazaar in Damascus, 1856, and Syrian Ploughman, 1856; and his final painting, Waverly, 1872. A fully-illustrated catalog with essays by Martha Wolfe and Claudia Pfeiffer accompanies the exhibition.
Clarice Smith: Power & Grace
Clarice Smith: Power and Grace on view from April 11 to September 28, 2014 at the National Sporting Library & Museum, in Middleburg, Virginia, offers a comprehensive range of the artist’s equestrian subjects. The exhibit spans over thirty years with almost forty paintings from the early 1980s to the present. Smith’s racing scenes, the equestrian subject for which she is best known, are well represented in the exhibition. Influenced by several traditions, she seeks to convey an interpretation of the moment, sometimes riotous, and at other times tranquil. Equestrian subjects inspire her; “I see the horse as a dynamic beautiful form; a combination of power and grace.”
Munnings: Out in the Open
The Open-Air Works of Alfred Munnings (English, 1878 – 1959) Sixty-eight masterworks by the renowned English artist, Sir Alfred James Munnings, (1878 – 1959), offer a cross-section of the artist’s open-air works painted throughout his career. While he is best known for his equestrian portraits, a more complete representation of his varied subjects will be presented, including: vibrant scenes of gypsy life, rolling landscapes of the English countryside and bucolic images of livestock. Several works created between 1912 and 1914 are highlighted as they relate to Summer in February, a novel about Munnings’s time in an artist colony written by Jonathan Smith in 1996. The exhibition includes works from important private collectors and public institutions such as: the Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum in Dedham, England; The Yale Center for British Arts in New Haven, Connecticut; the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, in Saratoga, New York; and Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville, Georgia.
Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal and Sporting Art
Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal and Sporting Art, the inaugural exhibition in the new Museum is designed to raise awareness of the importance of animal and sporting art as a reflection of American history and cultural life. Over one hundred outstanding works of fine art representing every category of the genre have been selected to show how American animal and sporting artists developed a unique national style reflective of the diversity of our people, the rich variety of our wildlife, and the breadth of our national landscape. Paintings and sculpture have been drawn from the NSLM’s permanent holdings, as well as from private collections, museums, and other institutions throughout the United States.
The exhibition is curated by F. Turner Reuter, Jr. and based on his 880-page reference book, Animal and Sporting Artists in America, which was published by the National Sporting Library in 2008. Reuter’s book is being reprinted this year. The inaugural exhibition is intended to raise awareness of the importance of animal and sporting art as a reflection of American history and cultural life.
Designed to attract the widest possible audience, Afield in America presents works by iconic American artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, Alfred Jacob Miller, and Frederic Remington, as well as those by recognized masters of the animal and sporting art genre, including John James Audubon, Paul Manship, Edward Troye, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, and William Tylee Ranney.
The works of other fine American sporting artists, which have long been esteemed by enthusiasts of the genre, but until recently were often overlooked by art historians, are an important focus of the exhibition. This group includes: William Herbert Dunton, Herbert Haseltine, Thomas Hewes Hinckley, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Alexander Pope, Ogden Pleissner, Percival Rosseau, and John Martin Tracy.
An illustrated, color catalogue accompanies the exhibition; critical essays explore larger interpretations of these works with the objective of defining the remarkable role animal and sporting artists have played in the history of American art. Essayists include: William H. Gerdts, Ph.D, art historian and author of Art Across America; Adam D. Harris, Ph.D, Curator of the National Museum of Wildlife Art and author of Wildlife in American Art; Daniel J. Herman, Ph.D, historian and author of Hunting and the American Imagination; F. Turner Reuter, Jr., Curator of Afield in America and author of Animaland Sporting Artists in America; and Robin R. Salmon, author and Vice President for Collections and Curator of Sculpture, Brookgreen Gardens.