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National Sporting Library & Museum

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Library: Free | Museum Free to NSLM Members

General Admission: Adults $10, Seniors (65 and older) $8, Youth (13–18) $8, Youth (12 & under) Free

Free Wednesdays and the last Sunday of each month.

The NSLM is closed on federal holidays. 
In the case of bad weather, the NSLM follows Loudoun County school district decisions.

102 The Plains Road
Middleburg, Virginia 20118-1335
Telephone: (540) 687-6542
Fax: (540) 302-8052

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Museum Exhibitions

Visitors enter a renovated and expanded 1804 historic house to view sporting art in a setting much like the houses for which these works of art were originally commissioned.

Library Exhibitions
Visitors enter the Forrest E. Mars, Sr. Exhibit Hall in the Library to view rare books, sporting art and ephemera in an intimate setting with creative exhibits that highlight the range and depth of the NSLM collection.

Upcoming
September 12 – December 28, 2014 C.D. Clarke traveling exhibit, Museum

Current
2014 Library Exhibitions
Riding Aside by the Book, March 8, 2014 – August 1, 2014
Read more  Read about the related Side Saddle Symposium Exhibit image Exhibit statement

2014 Museum Exhibitions
Clarice Smith: Power and Grace, April 11 – September 28, 2014
Clarice Smith: Power and Grace 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. Foreshortened compositions with low perspective draw the viewer into thundering hooves and flying dirt, and tightly framed views of jockeys astride, clamoring for position, prove the power of Smith’s work. There is, however, a softer side too. Graceful compositions such as Mr. Smith with back turned, standing at a paddock fence with his horses lined up to greet him, completed in earthy brown tones; and equine portraits imbued with personality, show intimate moments as well. Influenced by several traditions, Smith 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.”

Foxcroft School: The Art of Women and the Sporting Life,
March 15 – August 24, 2014
In conjunction with Foxcroft School’s Centennial Celebration, the NSLM is organizing an exhibition focusing on women as sporting enthusiasts, sporting artists and sporting art collectors The exhibition opens during Women’s History Month. Comprised of loans from alumnae of the prestigious Middleburg college-preparatory school for girls and their relatives, approximately thirty paintings and sculptures develop a picture of the collecting interests of these remarkable women and their role in 20th century sporting life and art.

Nic Fiddian-Green (British, b. 1963), Still Water, 2011
Hammered lead sculpture with copper rivets on an oak base, 9 feet, 10 feet 2 inches including base. Limited edition no. 1 of 5. This dramatic work is on exhibit in the Museum entrance through May. Read more.   See Country File video clip

Angling in the Western World, September 28, 2013 – March 23, 2014
Angling in the Western World, a loan exhibition of mid-seventeenth to twenty-first century American and British works organized by the National Sporting Library & Museum, focuses on the on the history of the pursuit of fishing as a sporting activity with a range of angling scenes, still lifes, illustration art, paintings and sculpture of salt and fresh water fish, and a selection of early rare books. Among the American artists represented are: Frank Weston Benson, Ernest L. Blumenschein, Walter M. Brackett, Ogden Minton Pleissner, William Tylee Ranney, and Mike Stidham. British artists include: John Frederick Lewis, John Pettie, Henry Leonidas Rolfe, and John Bucknell Russell. Loans are drawn from the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont; the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, New York; and private collections. Read more

Contemporary Artist-Naturalists Robin Hill and Meg Page, October 12 – February 23, 2014
Contemporary artist-naturalists Robin Hill and Meg Page, both deeply connected to the natural world, continue in the spirit of Audubon, Catesby, Wilson and Dürer rendering flora and fauna from near and afar. Unlike their predecessors, however, who oftentimes found themselves cataloguing new species in a lush, abundant, and untouched environment, Hill and Page as naturalists face the modern issue of documenting and preserving wildlife in a diminishing habitat. As artists, their exhibit of approximately twenty-five masterful and distinct interpretations distinguishes them from their peers and presents work that rises to the level of their forerunners. Robin Hill and Meg Page Read more: Baltimore Sun  Related symposium

Nic Fiddian-Green (British, b. 1963), Still Water, 2011
Hammered lead sculpture with copper rivets on an oak base, 9 feet, 10 feet 2 inches including base.
Limited edition no. 1 of 5. This dramatic work is on exhibit in the Museum entrance. Read more

Recent

Munnings: Out in the Open, April 24 – September 15, 2013
The Open-Air Works of Alfred Munnings (English, 1878 – 1959) Over fifty 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 equine compositions, 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’ 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. There is a fully illustrated catalog. Read more. The Jockey Club Web site, Equestrian Stylist, Artnosh , Elite Equestrian ,The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Chronicle Connection, The Georgetowner, Elan

American Sporting Heritage: A Portrait Survey of Contemporary Hunters and their Gun Dogs by Jesse Freidin, June 5 – September 29, 2013
Jesse Freidin's intimate, vibrant, and fresh compositions have a modern appeal, yet in essence preserve two traditions. In the series of fifteen portraits and candid images entitled American Sporting Heritage: A Portrait Survey of Contemporary Hunters and their Gun, the California and New York-based photographer focuses on the relationship between the hunter, the gun dog, and the landscape. Working with medium-format cameras, Freidin develops his own film. An exacting and precise artistic process, he creates his rich and tonally balanced pieces using traditional techniques in an age when digital photography and computer post-processing have overtaken the photographic medium. Garden & Gun blog

Sporting Pastimes: Art & Objects of Leisure, January 23 – July 2013
Highlights from the permanent collection celebrate the country way of life and turf and field sports with a survey of angling, shooting, coaching, foxhunting, steeplechasing, and horse racing. An examination of English, American, and French vintage and antique objects relating to these pastimes reveals utilitarian articles as well as fine and decorative art. The objects in this exhibition span hundreds of years, yet remain just as relevant to turf and field sport enthusiasts today as they were when they were first created.

Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct, October 12, 2012 – March 31, 2013
A life-long student of drawing, the late great wildlife artist Bob Kuhn left behind more than 5,000 studies in his studio after his death in 2007. The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has organized a traveling retrospective of his drawings and paintings. Read more.

NSLM Loan Exhibit
Washington Winter Show, Sporting Pastimes: Art & Objects of Leisure, January 11-13, 2013.Click here for more information. See Fox News video. See catalog.

2012 Museum Exhibitions

The Wildlife Paintings of Bruno Liljefors (Swedish, 1860 – 1939), February 4 – March 15, 2012
This exhibition is a collection of paintings by the Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors that depict grand, sweeping, and innovative scenes of the dance of predator and prey. Liljefors had a vision that was ahead of his time, foreshadowing a movement that would reach its heyday a half a century later. Many would follow but Liljefors was altogether without peers. “I paint animal portraits,” he said, modestly. Read more.

Scraps: British Sporting Drawings from the Paul Mellon Collection at the VMFA, Richmond, April 6 – June 30, 2012
This exhibition takes its title from Henry Alken’s series of drawings and prints that depict varied and often-humorous episodes of sporting and country life. Unlike the more formal, traditional scenes represented in commissioned paintings, these works allowed artists to indulge a personal vision of animals, sport and country pursuits they encountered and observed directly. Read more.

Cool Down at the NSLM – Three Summer Exhibitions. Read more.

Endangered Species,June 6 – December 30, 2012
This exhibition of the work of con­temporary Washington, D.C. art­ist Kay Jackson is comprised of twenty contemplative gold-leaf panel paintings and boxes. Read more.

Framing Animal and  Sporting Art, June 6 – December 30, 2012
Guest-curated by frame conservator and historian William Adair, this exhibition will examine typical frames that were used by eighteenth through twentieth century English and American sporting artists. There are three special events: “Frame Day,” June 9; “Framing: the Good the Bad and the Ugly,” October 6; and “Gild a Frame the Traditional Way, November 10, 2012.Read more.

Chukkers: the Sport of Polo in Art, July 12 – September 30, 2012
Curated by the NSLM and researched by Daniels Fellow H.A. Laffaye with loans from the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, Chukkers will explore the game and its history with over fifty paintings and watercolors, twenty sculptures and medals, and a selection of antique trophies. This exhibition will be open during the Polo lecture and panel discussion on September 22, and the Polo Cup Fundraiser on September 23, 2012. Read more.

Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct, October 1, 2012 – February 28, 2013
A life-long student of drawing, the late great wildlife artist Bob Kuhn left behind more than 5,000 studies in his studio after his death in 2007. The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has organized a traveling retrospective of his drawings and paintings. There are two related special events that are free and open to the public: Saturday, October 13, 11:00 a.m.,  a gallery tour led by exhibition curator Adam Harris and on Friday, October 19, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., an Evening at the Museum open house. Read more.

 NSLM Loan Exhibit, Washington Winter Show, Sporting Pastimes: Art & Objects of Leisure, January 11-13, 2013. This exhibit may be seen at the Washington Winter Show.Click here for more information. See the catalog.


Inaugural Exhibition

Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal and Sporting Art,  opened at the National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia, on October 11, 2011 and is on exhibit through January 14, 2012. This 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.

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 Animal and Sporting Artists in America; and Robin R. Salmon, author and Vice President for Collections and Curator of Sculpture, Brookgreen Gardens.

Afield in America catalog
Order 540-687-6542, nstribling@nsl.org

Catalog cover: William Tylee Ranney, On the Wing., 1850. Private collection.

Book cover: Detail of Thomas Hewes Hinckley's Day's Bag: Gun Dogs and Game, 1846.
Animal and Sporting Artists in America book
Order 540-687-6542, nstribling@nsl.org