Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Two-Part Edward Troye Exhibit at NSL&M

troye.nsl exhibit

The National Sporting Library and Museum (NSLM) in Middleburg, Virginia has mounted a comprehensive exhibit in two parts: the paintings of Edward Troye and the archives of his biographers, Harry Worcester Smith and Alexander Mackay-Smith. The paintings (on view in the Museum) and the archives (exhibited in the Library) may now be seen through March 29, 2015.

Troye played an important role not only in American art but also in preserving the images of leading American Thoroughbreds of the nineteenth century. Highlights of the exhibit include many of Troye’s most recognized portrayals of important racehorses, jockeys, and trainers of the antebellum period.

Your Human Faces Are Showing

Perhaps because I’ve seen so many serious photographs of hounds in kennels, I was arrested and amused by this whimsical print by Emily Robards, daughter of a well-known huntsman and author. Emily’s dad has hunted hounds in Ireland and in North America, and Emily has whipped-in to him and spent most of her younger years in or near the kennels. I asked her to tell us about her art.

emily robards"Your Human Faces Are Showing" by Emily Robards

I am a visual artist who works in a variety of media such as photography, printmaking, collage, embroidery and paint. My work draws from dreams and memories, linking the spiritual, human, and animal worlds together with an underlining narrative of innocence and the uncanny. The work arises from the self, drawing from my past, while trying to take control of the present. I also work a lot with vintage photographs and text combining them to create new narratives.

The piece, “Your Human faces are Showing,” is a seven-colour limited edition screen print, approximately 11.4 x 8 cm. The print is slightly off register so they are not all exactly the same, which is called a print variable.

The print is based on an old photo my grandmother took of the County Limerick Foxhounds. The piece started out as a doodle in my sketchbook a few years ago, and stayed that way until my last year of college when I made it into a print. The drawing is relaxed, almost comical. I wasn't worried about it being exact or anatomically correct. This relaxed idea towards the drawing I feel is what makes it a success.

Edward Troye, Harry Worcester Smith, and Alexander Mackay-Smith: Archival Research Connects the Dots

troye.clipEdward Troye gained artisitic renown painting America's greatest bloodstock of the mid-twentieth century. / 1872 photographic print, National Sporting Library and Museum Archives, Harry Worcester Smith papersFoxhunting Life is proud to publish this preview of the stories behind one of the most important exhibition of the works of Edward Troye ever mounted.

It is said that “traces of the soul can be found in boxes in the archives.” Where letters, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, jotted notes-to-self and snippets of individuals’ lives are kept, distractions lurk and surprises are inevitable. And patience is rewarded with a story.

The archives of the National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia contain the story of three men whose lives spanned two centuries, whose interests overlapped, and whose souls were kindred: Artist Edward Troye (1808-1874), the indomitable sportsman Harry Worcester Smith (1864-1945), and the scholar, chronicler, and author Alexander Mackay-Smith (1903-1998).

Antique Hunting Scene or War?

ivory carving closeCloseup view

Grotesque as this sculptured scene may appear—men and women trampled under a rush of mounted riders on horses, accompanied by dogs on leads—the collector believes that this antique ivory carving is a fox hunt, not a war scene, because of the dress, dogs, and accouterment. He has asked Jaynie Spector at Dog and Horse Fine Art in Charleston, South Carolina to offer this carving.

Ms. Spector has studied with Sotheby’s in London, worked as an art advisor, worked at Christie’s Contemporary Art Department, and spent years at a Soho art gallery in New York before starting her own art gallery in Charleston. While the carving boasts provenance from a gallery in Paris, Spector believes it is the work of a German sculptor.