Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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A Little Something to Hang

juli kirk.hounds on scent.10350Juli Kirk (American, born 1957), Hounds on Scent, oil on canvas, 24" x 36", signed, dated 2015. Click on any of the images for a larger view.

Through the kind permission of Greg Ladd, owner of the Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington, KY, Foxhunting Life is proud to report, along with a selection of riveting images, on the highly successful third annual Sporting Art Auction at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion held there on November 18, 2015. Racing and shooting sports were also well represented.

Each year, Ladd travels across the United States and Europe to acquire important works worthy of the attention of a discriminating clientele. Eighty-nine percent of all the works offered were sold, and thirty-seven percent sold for more than the high-end estimates. Sir Alfred Munnings’ signed and dated painting of the champion French Thoroughbred, Mon Talisman, brought the top price of $250,500. At the other end of the spectrum, a lovely hunting gouache of a Worcestershire Foxhounds scene sold for just $3,450.

The Mockers and Lionel Edwards

the mockers.lionel edwards.fox.hunting.artThe Mockers, 1925, by Lionel Edwards, gouache (click painting for a larger version)

In a recent Country Life article, Michael Clayton proclaims The Mockers by Lionel Edwards to be his favorite painting.

Clayton is former editor of Horse and Hound, author of numerous books, and well-known as Foxford for his long-running series of hunting reports in “Foxford’s Hunting Diary.” Clayton has probably hunted with every hunt in the UK over his long career as a sporting correspondent, and has personally known certainly all of the British contemporary artists of note. Because I respect Clayton’s opinion, because I’ve loved Lionel Edwards’s work ever since I first started hunting, and because I was sufficiently struck by the drama of the scene, I thought that Foxhunting Life readers might appreciate the painting as well.

“I have seen foxes ‘mocked’ in this way by birds,” says Clayton in the Country Life article. “It symbolises just how tough nature can be.”

Indeed, the fox is not only running from a pack of hounds, seen as mere white dots in the far distance at the left, but is being cruelly mobbed by the diving, swarming crows. The masterful rendering of the landscape under a somber sky, typical to the English Shires, was one of Lionel Edwards’s special talents. What was not so typical was this view of quarry and birds in the foreground, with horses and hounds—Edwards’s usual subjects—mere suggestions in the background.

JoAnne Helfert Sullam Fuses Art and Activism

the foxThe Fox, bronze. See more examples of Ms. Sullam's art on her website; she is represented by the Chisholm Gallery.Born in Brooklyn, New York, JoAnne Helfert Sullam is a celebrated animal and wildlife artist. Her award-winning works have been featured in the New York Times, Who's Who in America, Art Business News, “The Best of Sporting Art” in Polo Players magazine, and on the on the cover of The Chronicle of the Horse. She received Special Congressional Recognition for Work in the Arts from then U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Sullam's paintings and sculptures have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and cultural centers thoughout the country.

An advocate for conservation, Ms. Sullam also writes, lectures, and produces films about wild and domestic animals. She is the author of a children's book and has interviewed personalities such as Richard Gere, Bobby Kennedy Jr., and concert pianist/animal activist, Helene Grimaud.

William Dunlap: The Walker Foxhound as an Allegory

dunlap“Dunlap” by William Dunlap; foreword by Julia Reed, essay by J. Richard Gruber; Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2006; available at Amazon

William Dunlap is an important contemporary artist of the South with a powerful affinity for southern landscapes and Walker foxhounds. Dunlap’s work may be seen in many prestigious collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Corcoran Collection of the National Gallery of Art.

His book, Dunlap, features more than one hundred works, produced over a thirty-year period. It is published in a trade hardback and a limited edition of two hundred signed, bound-in-linen covers, housed in a matching linen-covered clamshell box. A signed, numbered print featuring four Walker foxhounds is included in the box. The book's cover features a surrealist landscape with a white Walker foxhound, Delta Dog Trot, appearing ready to climb right out of the painting, a nod to nineteenth century trompe l’oeil techniques. The painting, “Delta Dog Trot, Landscape Askew” hangs at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Dunlap’s grandfather was “a foxhunter of the old school,” Dunlap writes. “He bred and hunted generations of pure blood Walker Hounds. With names like Lucky, Mary, Speck, Sally and Bo, these dogs were all legs, lungs, nose and heart. They lived to run, but spent most of their lives laying around the kennel, eating, sleeping, stretching and occasionally giving off the deep-throated mouth that would send any fox in earshot scurrying for the nearest hole.