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 24,000 volume book collection.
Sir Alfred J. Munnings in Print: Unpublished Letters and Drawings, April 21 - August 1, 2013
This exhibition shows the three volume Autobography Presentation Set with thirteen original drawings by Munnings auctioned off at Christie’s in London on December 19, 1952. The set was purchased on behalf of William Coxe Wright and his wife, Charlotte Dorrance Wright, Philadelphia, major art collectors and patrons of Munnings. Also on display is unpublished correspondence from Alfred and Violet Munnings to William and Charlotte Coxe Wright from 1951 – 1955. Both the Presentation Set and the Correspondence Collection are the gift of John H. and Martha Daniels to the National Sporting Library & Museum. Selected letters provide insight into Munnings’ personality, opinions and social verve.
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
Contemporary Hunters and their Gun Dogs: Photography Series by Jesse Friedin, Museum June 5 – September 29, 2013
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.
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.
Abbott Handerson Thayer: A Beautiful Law of Nature, February 1 - May 26, 2013
Works by the early American naturalist painter Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921) highlight the artist’s observations of nature and his correlating discovery of early camouflage concepts, which were implemented by the Allied countries during World War I. Included are landscapes, animal studies, and early camouflage designs for military uniforms and navy vessels. Selected from the artist's family archives, most of these paintings and drawings have never been exhibited. A catalog accompanies the show, edited by Ari Post with essays by renowned scholars William Kloss, Martin Stevens and Roy Behrens. This exhibit was organized by Gold Leaf Studios in Washington, D.C., and is sponsored by Blair Inc. and the Family and Estate of Abbott Handerson Thayer. Read more. Follow Roy Behrens' blog.
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.
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