from left to right: entrance to Shelburne Museum; the Webb Gallery, containing American art; photos by John Hazeltine
By Hook, Horse or Hound: Sporting Art at the Shelburne Museum
By Hook, Horse or Hound: Sporting Art at the Shelburne Museum, a new exhibition opening June 5, 1999 in Shelburne Museum's Webb Gallery, explores the Museum's remarkable but little known collections of sporting art and memorabilia. The show brings to light over 50 paintings, prints, sculpture and objects to illustrate the rich history of fox hunting, big game hunting, thoroughbred racing, polo, fishing and fowling.
The genre of sporting art flourished in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe. Shelburne owns several English paintings from that era, including Ben Marshall's impressive Huntsman on Foot and Hounds, which will be a focus of the show's fox hunting section. Many other well-known artists are included in the exhibition, among them Frederic Remington, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait and Carl Rungius who vividly evoke the world of hunting and the power of the wilderness. Electra Webb was herself a passionate sportswoman; she rode to hounds in Shelburne, hunted big game in Alaska and was known as an excellent shot. Her trophies will be on exhibition. Works by Ogden Pleissner, who hunted and fished with the Webb family, will also be shown. Above right: Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Hunter's Dilemna
Mrs. Webb's original motivation in founding the Museum was her commitment to preserving the renowned Webb family coaches and carriages. Hook, Horse or Hound will explore the sport of coaching using extensive, fascinating Webb family photographs and memorabilia. Prints and two rare bronzes of horses and jockey by Edgar Degas illustrate thoroughbred racing.
Shelburne Museum is fortunate to have such a wide range of works of art and artifacts from which to draw for this exhibition. It is a reminder of Electra Webb's imagination and foresight as a collector. This exhibition honors the memory of Samuel B. Webb, Sr., Electra Havemeyer Webb's oldest son, who was a great sportsman and true friend of Shelburne Museum.
Read more in Resource Library about the Shelburne Museum.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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