Visitors to the Museum 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.
Visitors to the Forrest E. Mars, Sr. Exhibit Hall of the Library see exhibits that explore the depth and range of the 26,000 volume book collection.
Teaming with Nature: James Prosek, October 25, 2013 - January 30, 2014
On public display for the first time are selected watercolors painted by contemporary artist, writer, naturalist and conservationist James Prosek for the latest edition of his book Trout of the World, issued March 2013. The watercolors are presented with rare books selected by Prosek from the NSLM collection that illustrate the legacy he honors and challenges. Trout of the World led Prosek to undertake a naming inquiry that has confronted 19th century ideas of taxonomy in favor of seeing a more fluid world that emphasizes diversity. Read more: James Prosek Related symposium Artist's Statement
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. Read more: Robin Hill Read more: Meg Page Read more: Baltimore Sun
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 , Elan , The Georgetowner
Contemporary Hunters and their Gun Dogs: Photography Series by Jesse Freidin, Museum 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 Dogs, 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.
An Artist's Story: Civil War Drawings by Edwin Forbes, March 15 – June 24, 2013
Like thousands of young men, twenty-three year- old John Edwin Forbes went to war in 1862—but he did not shoulder a rifle or carry a saber. The classically trained Forbes joined a group of artists and reporters, known collectively as the Bohemian Brigade, sent south by northern newspapers to feed a home front population hungry for information about the war and the men engaged in it. For two and a half years Forbes documented the Union and Confederate armies—in camp, on the march and in battle. Accompanied by Forbes’s own descriptions, this exhibition features original pen-and-ink drawings based on his wartime sketches and used to illustrate his memoir, Thirty Years After: An Artist’s Story of the Great War (1890). All of these images are part of a collection of 156 drawings donated to the Virginia Historical Society in 2008 by the William R. Berkley family. This traveling exhibition was organized by the Virginia Historical Society.
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
About the Museum
The new Museum is a venue for exhibitions which preserve, share and promote the art, literature and culture of equestrian and field sports. Visitors are welcomed through the doors of the renovated and expanded 1804 historic house to view and enjoy sporting art in an inviting setting much like the houses for which these works of art were originally commissioned. While primarily a research center, the Library is open to the public. An historic building, Vine Hill, also located on the campus, was once occupied by the Library. Vine Hill has been renovated and expanded to house the new art Museum. Read more.
The inaugural exhibition for the new Museum was Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal & Sporting Art 1585-1985, curated by F. Turner Reuter, Jr., and based on his book Animal and Sporting Artists in America which was published by the National Sporting Library in 2008. A second edition was printed in 2011.The inaugural exhibition in the new Museum was intended to raise awareness of the importance of animal and sporting art as a reflection of American history and cultural life. Afield in America