Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions

Oct 7, 2020 - Mar 28, 2021
A Horse of Course: The Equine Image in Art

A Horse of Course: The Equine Image in Art is a traveling educational exhibition organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as part of the Virginia Statewide Partnership Program. It features 12 photographic reproductions of iconic works in the VMFA's permanent collections. Also on view are a selection of books from the National Sporting Library & Museum's collection inspired by the imagery.


Sep 9, 2020 - Mar 21, 2021
Thrill of the ‘Chace: Steeplechase in Art
TO ENTER FULLSCREEN VIEW, CLICK RECTANGLE AT TOP RIGHT OF GALLERY.

First run from church steeple to church steeple in Ireland in the 1750s, steeplechasing, its early alternate spelling “steeplechacing,” has developed a rich history around the globe. Jumping fences, leaping ditches, and streaking across the countryside in brightly colored silks, skilled jockeys and their mounts have won the hearts and minds of spectators and artists across centuries. Now run on courses ranging from Aintree, England to Middleburg, Virginia, the excitement and passion of this sport has been immortalized in countless pieces of art. Thrill of the ’Chace showcases paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from the National Sporting Library & Museum’s permanent collection and venues from across the country.

The utmost appreciation is extended to Premier Sponsors Zohar and Lisa Ben-Dov and Mrs. Frances Massey Dulaney and Title Sponsors Marlou and John C. Gregory, Jr.; Naylor Family Foundation; Sam Slater and Lornie Forbes; Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Fenwick, Jr.; Middleburg Spring Races; Montpelier Hunt Races; and Virginia Fall Races.


Jul 17, 2020 - Feb 28, 2021
Recent Acquisitions: Benson and Pleissner
TO ENTER FULLSCREEN VIEW, CLICK RECTANGLE AT TOP RIGHT OF GALLERY.

In the spring of 2020, the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) received five important works of art by two well-known 20th-century sporting artists: Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862–1951) and Ogden Minton Pleissner (American, 1905–1983). The addition of these paintings increases the ever-growing footprint of angling and gunning subjects within the NSLM’s art collection.


Feb 8, 2020 - Jan 3, 2021
Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration
TO ENTER FULLSCREEN VIEW, CLICK RECTANGLE AT TOP RIGHT OF GALLERY.

A memorial exhibition celebrating the life of Phyllis Mills Wyeth (November 13, 1940–January 14, 2019) features a selection of portraits created by her husband, contemporary artist Jamie Wyeth. From the late 1960s, and throughout the decades of their marriage, Phyllis Wyeth was his muse. He created intimate works that capture moments from her life. Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration features 31 paintings and drawings and reflects Phyllis’ vibrant spirit and love of nature, horses, and her ever-present dogs.

The exhibition and accompanying catalogue were organized by the Brandywine River Museum of Art (Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania), the first venue. It then traveled to the Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland, Maine) and the Greenville County Museum of Art (Greenville, South Carolina), after which the National Sporting Library & Museum (Middleburg, Virginia) was added as a venue. 

Wyeth’s local ties run deep. She was the younger sister of Middleburg resident Mimi Abel Smith, a Board member of NSLM and a lifelong sporting enthusiast who hunted with Orange County as well. Abel Smith has fond memories of their life in Middleburg. They grew up outside of the village on Burnt Mill Farm next to Hickory Tree Farm, a renowned Thoroughbred breeding, training, and racing facility founded by their parents, Mr. and Mrs. James P. Mills, Sr. “My sister loved to ride and jump horses and compete in point-to-points,” notes Abel Smith, “And she was very good at it.”

NSLM Executive Director Elizabeth von Hassell was a strong supporter of bringing Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration to the NSLM and notes, “The exhibition is an intimate tribute by one of the most recognized artists of our time to his wife, a loving testimony to their 50-year marriage, and the embodiment of Phyllis’s tenacious spirit. I can’t think of a more fitting location to celebrate Phyllis Wyeth’s sporting legacy.” 


Jan 1, 2020 - Dec 30, 2020
Highlights from the Permanent Collection

A changing display of paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and objects from the National Sporting Library & Museum's Permanent Collection is presented in the Museum opened in 2011. The collection is installed in the historic wing of the Museum which was originally a Federal house built in 1804 called "Vine Hill." The NSLM's art collection continues to grow as a result of the Felicia Warburg Rogan Sporting Art Initiative, Mrs. Rogan's generous donation of prominent British paintings in 2008, and other significant donations and bequests. Above, please enjoy a 360° virtual tour of highlights from summer 2020.


Museum Hours

  • Friday & Saturday
  • 11:00am (Members Only)
  • 2:00pm (General Admission)

Library Hours

  • Tuesday - Saturday
  • By Appointment Only

Contact Us

  • Address: 102 The Plains Road,
    Middleburg, VA 20117

  • Mailing Address: PO Box 1335, Middleburg, VA 20118

  • Phone: (540) 687-6542

  • Email: info@nationalsporting.org