The National Sporting Library & Museum will host The Chronicle of the Horse in Art, on view in the Museum from Aug. 26 through March 26, 2017. This major exhibition, with accompanying catalog, gathers a sampling of forty-six American, British and Continental oil paintings, watercolors, and sculptures to highlight the variety of material that was on the covers of the Chronicle of the Horse for nearly 70 years.
The introduction of art to the front cover of The Chronicle came on the Aug. 31, 1945, issue with little fanfare. The periodical was started eight years earlier as a local Virginia newspaper under the name The Middleburg Chronicle by Gerald B. Webb and Stacy B. Lloyd Jr. It was the first of what would become an iconic cover for almost 70 years, reflecting the broad range of expression of classic to contemporary sporting art, the rich history of The Chronicle of the Horse itself, developments in equine sports, and the interests of the equestrians who have followed the national weekly publication for over two generations.
A comprehensive and eclectic variety of over 3,400 images of paintings, sculpture, illustrations, caricatures, prints and other objects reflecting equine pursuits were reproduced on the covers between 1945 and 2012. Not only works with horses appeared on the cover; portraits of foxhounds and even a donkey, described as “employed babysitting four young horses,” were included.
Iconic 18th and 19th century sporting artists such as George Stubbs, Benjamin Marshall and John Ferneley Sr,. and artists who attained success in the 20th century, such as Jean Bowman, Sir Alfred Munnings, James Lynwood Palmer and Richard Stone Reeves, were featured. By 1960, the Chronicle had already distinguished itself by highlighting “young painters just getting started, obviously with still a long way to go, but with enough apparent talent to justify a leg up.”
Among the works that will be included are Shark with his Trainer Price, dated 1775, by George Stubbs (English, 1724–1806) from the Paul Mellon Collection at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Euxton, with John White Up, at Heaton Park, 1829 by John E. Ferneley, Sr. (British, 1782–1860) from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale Center for British Art; five other major paintings from the Yale collection; Scene From A Spaghetti Western, 1998, by Booth Malone (American, b. 1950) from The U.S. Pony Clubs collection; Turning To Go Down, 1976 by John Rattenbury Skeaping (British, 1901-1980), Saint Nick from the collection of Caroline Moran; and Mongo on the Turf at Laurel Racetrack, Maryland with Charles Burr Up, 1964, by Jean Eleanor Bowman (American, 1917-1994) from the National Sporting Library & Museum.
RELATED EVENT: A public reception will be held on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the National Sporting Library & Museum. George L. Ohrstrom Jr. Curator of Art Claudia Pfeiffer will host a coffee reception from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. and then provide a custom tour of the exhibition. Admission to this event is free to NSLM members and $5 for non-members. Coffee provided by Middleburg Common Grounds. RSVP to Anne Marie Barnes, educational programs manager and fellowship advisor, 540-687-6542 ext. 25, or ABarnes@NationalSporting.org.