Paintings of the Sporting Life at the William Secord Gallery

Timed to coincide with the 138th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the William Secord Gallery will present the "John Emms: Paintings of the Sporting Life" art exhibition from February 8 to March 15, 2014, in its New York City art gallery.

January 21, 2014

John Emms Pug Painting
Punch (Pug), ca. 1890, oil on canvas, 9 x 12 inches. Provenance: Richard D. Hammond. Dog Painting, 1840-1940, by William Secord, page 87.

The William Secord Gallery is pleased to present "John Emms: Paintings of the Sporting Life," the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of this artist's work. Timed to coincide with the 138th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, this exhibition and sale includes more than 50 paintings dating from the 1860s through the 1890s when Emms was renowned for his paintings of Foxhounds, Terriers, Spaniels and other Sporting breeds. Also included are examples of his purebred dog portraits commissioned by wealthy dog fanciers to immortalize their famous champions of the show bench.

Born the son of an artist near Blowfield, England, the young Emms soon moved to London where he apprenticed with Lord Frederick Leighton, the great academic painter. Emms soon went on his own, however, painting images that even today conjure up the romance and beauty of English country life. Emms maintained studios in both London and Lyndhurst in the New Forest area of England, a center for fox hunting and country sports. In a time when Victorian painting was detailed and highly finished, Emms' paintings were characterized by a quick and bold painterly style. He soon became known for his ability to capture the essence of a subject with seemingly effortless applications of paint. He quickly gained a following among the sporting gentry of the day.

This exhibition is drawn largely from two important private collections and includes portraits of Foxhounds at rest and in the field. Also included are several paintings of Clumber Spaniels (a breed which was developed at Clumber Park by the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle), horses and Jack Russell Terriers, among many others. There are also several portraits of purebred dogs: the Princess de Montglyon's Champion Collies, G. A. Latham's Dandie Dinmont Terriers and Col. C.S. Dean's Ch. Benham Busybody, perhaps the best known of all Manchester Terriers.


About the William Secord Gallery

The William Secord Gallery specializes in fine 19th century dog and animal paintings, bronzes and works on paper. Located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, it is the only gallery of its kind in North America. The gallery was established in 1990 and since then has become a popular destination for those interested in dog art and collectibles. While initially known for its antique dog paintings, the gallery now represents the work of three living artists who are modern masters of the genre: Pamela Hall, Christine Merrill and Sheela Marie Padgett. Read more about past William Secord Gallery exhibitions that coincided with Westminster in 2013, "The Sarah Evans Collection" and 2012, "An Artistic Legacy: The Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Collection."


Visiting the Gallery

"John Emms: Paintings of The Sporting Life" is on exhibit at the William Secord Gallery from February 8 to March 15, 2014. The paintings in this exhibition are all available for purchase and all subject to prior sale. For more information, please contact Galina Zhitomirsky, Gallery Director, at

William Secord Gallery
52 East 76 Street, New York, NY 10021
Open Mon-Sat from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dogs are welcome in the gallery
212.249.0075 |

John Emms Collies Painting
Princess de Montglyon's champion Collies, 1900, oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches. Provenance: Richard Green, London. Dog Painting, The European Breeds, by William Secord, page 74.
John Emms Manchester Painting
Ch. Benham Busybody (Manchester Terrier), ca. 1900, oil on canvas, 16 x 22 inches. Provenance: Comissioned by Lt. Col. C.S. Dean, England. Dog Painting, The European Breeds, by William Secord, page 171.
John Emms Scottish Terrier Painting
Champion Hawalt's Rascal (Scottish Terrier), oil on canvas, 16 x 22 inches.
John Emms Dandie Dinmont Terrier Painting
Heather Sandy (Dandie Dinmont Terrier), 1888, oil on canvas, 9 x 8.5 inches. Provenance: Sara Davenport, London. Dog Painting, The European Breeds, by William Secord, page 204.

 -More Westminster Dog Show News-

From the 2014 Annual issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Purchase the 2014 Annual digital back issue with the DIR app or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine (print and digital versions).


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Melian and Tiny   Etna, CA

10/13/2014 11:29:18 PM

These are great! Wish I could go.

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