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AAEA Returns Home for 40-year Retrospective

aaea.wheelerLarry Wheeler, Meet at Sunrise, Oil, 16 x 20 inches, Collection of the Artist

The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia, will present an exhibition of artwork by members of the American Academy of Equine Art―both living and deceased. The NSL&M is a fitting venue for this exhibit, titled 2020 Hindsight: 40 Years of the American Academy of Equine Art. The AAEA shares with the NSL&M a founder and several of the earliest supports of both institutions.

The Museum exhibition will be open to visitors from November 12, 2021, through March 20, 2022. Claudia Pfeiffer, George L. Ohrstom, Jr, Curator of the Museum, curated the exhibit. Though AAEA artists and this exhibit embrace numerous equestrian disciplines―racing, showing, steeplechasing, polo, breeding, stable, and pasture scenes―the images in this article are limited to foxhunting-related subjects.

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A Sportsman’s Artist: Franklin Brooke Voss

voss2Franklin Brooke Voss (American, 1880–1953), Tom Allison, Huntsman of Meadow Brook Hounds, 1934, 12 x 16 1/8 inches, National Sporting Library & Museum, Gift of Katrina Hickox Becker, 2020

Franklin Brooke Voss counted among his patrons a Who’s Who of some of the most successful and affluent people in the United States in the early-to-mid-20th century, including the likes of John Hay Whitney, J. Watson Webb, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Alfred Vanderbilt, Walter Jeffords, F. Ambrose Clark, and Emily T. DuPont. These patrons, however, had something other than wealth in common. They were all equestrians in a golden age of turf and field sports, and just as importantly, they were supporters of the arts.

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Toulouse-Lautrec: Horses, Hounds, and the Hunt

toulouse lautrec and hornThis astonishing photograph, sent by Debra Pring, shows Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec standing by horse and hound and holding a French stag hunting horn.

And here we thought that the Master Post-Impressionist spent all his spare time at the Moulin Rouge with wine, dancers, prostitutes, and his fellow artist friends. Not so! Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was well familiar with horses, hounds, and stag hunting.

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Alfred Wheeler’s Duster

alfred wheeler.duster 1910Duster by Alfred Wheeler, 1910, oil on board, 8 x 9-1/2 inches, framed 11-1/2 x 13 inches, $4,500.

Here’s a small, nicely-framed painting of a foxhound by a respected English artist born in the mid-nineteenth century. It is priced at $4,500 by an equally respected art gallery in New York. If I were starting my own collection of sporting art and still had wall space in my home (and my other bills were paid), I would buy it.

The painting is a head-and-neck portrait of an Old (traditionally-bred) English foxhound, clearly from the days when English hunt staff cropped the ears―happily no longer practiced. It’s not terribly creative. Rather formulaic when compared to another painting by the same artist―this other hound being one in a set of five small paintings of four hounds and a pair of hunters from the Duke of Beaufort’s establishment. The two are similar in anatomy, view, and shading technique but different in the ear and eye details.

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