The pictures by Joseph Golinkin in the book, The American Sporting Scene” are truly happy works of art. One cannot help but smile at his exuberant paintings depicting horse racing, polo, sailing, and skiing. What is even more impressive is Golinkin’s background. It turns out he was a real renaissance man. Not only was he an artist, but a patriot as well, serving in two World Wars and ending his distinguished career as Rear Admiral in the United States Navy.

Note: I apologize for the lack of descriptive captions; I do not have the book to confirm the names of the locations. However, I am sure many of you will recognize some of the places as Golinkin featured a number of locales familiar to the NSLM community!

Warrenton

Born in Chicago in 1896, Golinkin entered the United States Naval Academy after studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Golinkin was commissioned as an Ensign and immediately deployed to serve in World War I. In 1922, Golkin resigned from the Navy but remained in the active reserve as a Lieutenant Commander.

After leaving the Navy, Golinkin returned to art and moved to New York where he studied with Ashcan School artist, George Luks, who was teaching at the Art Students League. The Ashcan School was an artistic movement during the late 19th-century and the early 20th century that is noted for its works portraying scenes of daily life in New York, often in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. Indeed, Golinkin’s art in the book, “New York is Like This,” published in 1929, and other drawings he supplied to magazines at the time, including the “New York Times Sunday Magazine,” feature a gritty, busy, New York scene.

Hialeah

While the majority of Golinkin’s scenes in “The American Sporting Scene,” published in 1941, are bright and colorful, one can see the his older style of drawing and in the chapter on boxing, which feature strong, black and white lithographs depicting boxers in the ring.

When the Navy reactivated him in 1938, his artistic career was put on hold. He served with great distinction during WWII, was awarded the Bronze Star, and retired from the Navy in 1958 with the rank of Rear Admiral. His other careers include serving for twelve years as Mayor of Centre Island, New York.

Upperville Colt & Horse Show

His works are now part of many museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum, New York Public Library, Museum of the City of New York, Library of Congress, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

You can find these paintings in “The American Sporting Scene,” published by Macmillan in 1941, at the Library with call number E 01 .K447 1941.

Formal veterinarian training, delivered in an institutional setting, didn’t begin until 1761 when Claude Bourgelat founded the first veterinary school in Lyon, France, but since the domestication animals, people have been accumulating knowledge on how to care for them. The earliest record of what we would call a veterinarian is from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC where Urlugaledinna was known as an “expert in healing animals.” Works on animal care can be found in China dating back to at least 2500 BC. In Babylonia the Eshuna Code describes methods to control rabies, and the Code of Hammurabi specifies veterinary fees. In India, Shalihotra authored the Shalihotra Samhita, a large treatise on the care and management of horses in the 3rd century BC. The Greek and Roman knowledge of horse care was compiled in The Hippiatrika during the 10th century AD and it would continue to function as the mainstay of veterinary education through the 16th century. At that point Carlo Ruini’s book, L’Anatomia del Cavallo, Infermita, et suoi Rimedii, would kick off a burst of equine veterinary scholarship that would culminate in the foundation of modern veterinary science. 

The NSLM’s copy of Ruini’s L’Anatomia de Cavallo Infermita et suoi Rimedii dates to 1618 and was the gift of the Arundel Foundation.

Carlo Ruini was a member of a wealthy family in Bologna, Italy and received the private education that was usual for men of his class. He did not attend the University in Bologna and there is no record of him receiving medical training. His book, L’Anatomia del Cavallo, Infermita, et suoi Rimedii, which translates as The Anatomy of the Horse, Diseases and their Treatments, was not written until late in his life and was published in 1598, two months after his death.  It is comprised of two sections, the first describes the anatomy of the horse, and the second deals with the diseases of the horse and their treatment.  It is the anatomical section that is most significant.  It is organized in five separate parts:

The Animal Parts, which deals with the head and brain,

L’Anatomia de Cavallo Infermita et suoi Rimedii, Carlo Ruini (1618). The gift of the Arundel Foundation.

The Spiritual Parts focusing on the neck and chest,

L’Anatomia de Cavallo Infermita et suoi Rimedii, Carlo Ruini (1618). The gift of the Arundel Foundation.

The Nutritive Parts dealing with the abdomen,

L’Anatomia de Cavallo Infermita et suoi Rimedii, Carlo Ruini (1618). The gift of the Arundel Foundation.

The Generative Parts describing the reproductive organs,

L’Anatomia de Cavallo Infermita et suoi Rimedii, Carlo Ruini (1618). The gift of the Arundel Foundation.

And finally the Muscles and Skeleton.

Ruini’s illustrations were very likely influenced by those found in human anatomical works published earlier in the 16th century, especially Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543). 

L’Anatomia del Cavallo, Infermita, et suoi Rimedii set a standard for equine anatomical description that would not be surpassed for more than two hundred years.  Numerous editions were published, it was translated into several languages, and it served as inspiration for many other similar works.  One such work is The Anatomy of an Horse (1683) by Andrew Snape (1644-1708) who was a sergeant farrier to King Charles II.  Published 85 years after Ruini’s, Snape’s book closely follows the example laid out by the earlier work, breaking down the anatomical description into five similar sections and including beautiful illustrations throughout.  Some of the images are direct copies of those in Ruini’s book.  Snape’s book is significant in that it was the first such anatomy published in English.

The Anatomy of an Horse, Andrew Snape (1683). The gift of the Arundel Foundation.

It is during the 16th and 17th centuries that structured scientific thought developed and these early monographs on horse care show the application of the budding field of scientific description to equine subjects.

It is fascinating to me how beautiful the images in these works are despite being derived from what must have been fairly gruesome models in reality. Both of these books, along with some other interesting anatomical works, are on view through the end of March in the cases in the lobby of Library. I encourage you to drop by and have a look.


Erica Libhart has served as the Mars Technical Services Librarian at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) since early 2016. The focus of her position is collection services, working to increase accessibility to NSLM’s collection of books, periodicals, and archival materials. The NSLM collections span over 350 years of the history of equestrian sport, as well as fly fishing, wing shooting, and other field sports. Have a question? Contact Erica by e-mail.

I was recently at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia with a friend, who is also the employee of a museum, and we were enjoying the Cast of Punt Reliefs from the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri (here’s a link, it’s wonderful!). It’s a replica relief of the original and the only thing separating Us from It was a railing…how we wanted to touch it! Museum employees, who know better, wanted to touch! The lure of the hieroglyphics and depictions of underwater creatures was too much!

Look at that squid!
Detail of Cast of Punt Reliefs from the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia.

One of the first rules at most museums is No Touching. But, why is that? The simplest answer is that the oils from our hands leave residue on the object and can create damage. You often see museum employees with the telltale gloves, protecting the objects from ourselves.

The image below shows what happens when metal is touched. This is from our dog collar collection – at some point, the metal was handled. This is not surprising, considering this was utilitarian object. It was meant to be used and it was. We can’t be upset by that. Now that it’s part of the museum’s collection, we need to preserve it the best we can and, since it’s metal, we wear gloves.

Every Collections Manager’s worst nightmare!
NSLM Dog Collar Collection, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Greenan, 2015

If you’ve visited the Vatican, you may have heard that rubbing St. Peter’s foot will bring good luck or help you get into Heaven. Not just any sculpture (please do not run around Vatican City touching all the feet of St Peter you find), but perhaps it is the most famous one, attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio (Italian, c. 1240-1300/1310).

St. Peter Enthroned, attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, bronze,
St. Peter’s Basilica

Take a look at those feet!!

Detail St. Peter Enthroned, attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, bronze,
St. Peter’s Basilica

His right foot is almost completely gone and his left one looks like a hoof. Of course, this is over centuries of pilgrims and visitors coming into contact with his feet, so it is an extreme example. But it does give you an idea of what could eventually happen.

The rule of thumb has been to always wear gloves when handling objects, but interestingly, there are instances when gloves can actually cause more harm than good. Works on paper, like unframed prints, don’t require gloves because it’s possible that pre-existing tears can catch on the gloves and create further damage. As one professional writes, “Gloves make you clumsy.” Instead, we wash (and dry!) our hands thoroughly beforehand and ensure we don’t touch our faces, transferring any oils. This is harder than it sounds. It’s like when you’re supposed to be quiet, but then you can’t stop laughing. Once you start thinking about it, suddenly, your nose starts itching!

There are the white cotton gloves and the nitrile gloves. I prefer the nitrile because they fit better. I have found that the white gloves are either too big or too small, there’s no Baby Bear size, and having gloves that don’t fit right is a problem. You don’t want something to slip out of your hands because you don’t have a firm grip.

Seen as intimidating, some museums are trying to move away from this by having touching stations. During 2019’s NSLMology: The Science of Sporting Art, the chemistry section had a bronze mare and foal on display that asked visitors to touch.

Students at the Middleburg Charter School touching our study collection bronze,
Pierre-Jules Mene, Jument Arabe et son Paulain (Arab Mare and Foal), bronze on wooden base,
12 x 19 x 9 3/4 inches, Gift of the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Atkinson, 2014

The VMFA has a clever idea to educate visitors who are curious as to why we can’t touch, and that’s to show what happens when we do touch. In the lobby of the museum, near the ticket desk, there’s a touching station that presents an array of mediums found within the museum, like metal, fabric, and wood. Each sample has the top half covered by plexiglass and the bottom half exposed, encouraging people to touch. It shows how the materials are affected by continual handling: the area covered by plexi maintains its original condition whilst the exposed half reveals the damage incurred from the oils on our hands.


“Tempted to Touch” station at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia

As for us, we put our hands in our pockets like naughty children and laughed at ourselves that even museum employees are susceptible to the siren’s call to Touch Objects.

References:

Art History News, The white glove fallacy, published September 29, 2012

Image of St. Peter: Visit Vatican City

Image of St. Peter’s foot: Reach the World

Lauren Kraut is the Collections Manager at the National Sporting Library & Museum. Her primary focus is to maintain and preserve the works of art in the collection and on loan. Email her at lkraut@NationalSporting.org

The National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) is not only home to the first book published in America on organized foxhunting, the NSLM is also a proud steward of the first book published in America on fishing. The book (though through modern eyes it really is more of a pamphlet), is titled, “Business and Diversion Inoffensive to God, and Necessary for the Comfort and Support of Human Society: A Discourse Uttered in Part at Ammauskeeg Falls in the Fishing Season.” This book has been called, “… the keystone book in the great arch of hunting and fishing stories that America has produced” (Brown, Michigan Alumnus Review, 1950).

Business and diversion inoffensive to God, and necessary for the comfort and support of human society by Joseph Seccombe (1706-1760), published in Boston in 1743 for S. Kneeland T. Green. From the John H. and Martha Daniels Collection 

Authored by “Fluviatulis Piscator,” the book is a transcription of a sermon that was delivered by the author, Reverend Joseph Seccombe at Amoskeag Falls in 1739. The falls are located on the Merrimack River in Manchester, New Hampshire, 55 miles northwest of Boston, or 17 miles south of Concord, New Hampshire. While a mere hour drive by today’s standards, Amoskeag Falls in 1730 would have seemed a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of colonial Boston.

The printed text prefaces Seccombe’s sermon with a line from scripture, John 21:3: “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing.” Throughout the text, Seccombe argues that “…I think Diversion in proper Portions of Time, and other suitable Circumstances, are not hurtful, but very friendly to Religion.”

Seccombe notes that the disciples were fishermen themselves, in contrast to the “Popish Countries,” who made a distinction between “social affairs” and “duties of life.” He argues two points: 1) “In the general, that the common Enterprises of Life are not inconsistent with Piety towards God: But that infinite Holiness may be pleased with them.” And that, 2) “Fishing is innocent as Business or Diversion.”

Seccombe sees God not only as a creator of man, but as a “Founder of Society” and as such, activities and duties that support society, such as acquiring food, are in fact, supportive and in agreement with God and is part of humanity’s duty to God.

Another point is that because fishing is a means to feed and care for one’s family, the failure to provide for one’s family is worse than neglect: “…Man is not only unjust, but barbarous and cruel, who neglects them. He that provideth not for his own, especially for those of his own House, hath denied the Faith, and is worse than an Infidel.”

How is this so?

Seccombe argues that the goals of both business and diversion are the same, that:

The End of both are the refreshment and support of man in the service of God. If I may eat them for Refreshment, I may as well catch them, if this recreate and refresh me. It’s as lawful to delight the Eye, as the Palate. All Pleasure arises from the Suitableness and Agreeableness between the perceptive Faculties, and the Object; that affect them: And our bountiful Maker, as he has given the animal Life many perceptive Faculties, the Senses of Seeing, Hearing, Tasting, &c. so he has provided suitably Objects for all these Faculties, and does allow us to gratify ourselves therewith.

Translated into contemporary English, Seccombe is making the case that God gave us the abilities to taste things and to prefer certain tastes, and therefore, catching tasty fish is one way of carrying out God’s plan. In other words, God would not have made fish tasty, and would not have been made people appreciate the taste, if we were meant not to catch fish.

Nowadays we might associate fishing and leisure in general with secular values, but Seccombe’s example, shows us that fishing can also be regarded as service to God and even a sacred duty.


Business and diversion inoffensive to God, and necessary for the comfort and support of human society by Joseph Seccombe (1706-1760), published in Boston in 1743 for S. Kneeland T. Green. From the John H. and Martha Daniels Collection 

It is one of the most endearing stories I know: a tale of a boy who had a crush that turned into an over 50-year marriage. The boy, Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), became a famous artist and his wife, Phyllis Mills Wyeth (1940–2019), his muse. It is a story of triumph, of spirit, and of tenacity. It is a Wyeth story, it is a Mills story, and, at the heart of it, it is a celebration of life. Jamie Wyeth expressed this enchanted tale in his paintings. I cannot think of anything more intimate or pure, and to preserve this sentiment, I will refer to them as “Jamie” and “Phyllis” in this blog entry.

Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), …And Then Into the Deep Gorge, 1975, oil on canvas, 36 x 46 inches, Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

In 2014, Jamie discussed his artistic process in the short film, Inferno: “I just look at myself as a recorder. I just want to record things that interest me in my life…it’s as if I’m doing a diary.” What must it have been like for Phyllis to so deeply inspire someone that he painted her over and over again? Moreover, what was it like for that painter to be “the” Jamie Wyeth?

Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), Connemara, 1987, oil on canvas, 37 x 73 inches, Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

When Phyllis passed away in January 2019, the Brandywine River Museum of Art organized a tribute exhibition within two months. Beautifully curated, the paintings and sketches in Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration, spanning over 50 years, lay bare the essence of Phyllis’s uncontainable spirit and the magnitude of Jamie’s artistic talent. The combination is a moving visual journey of a woman who, despite being dealt what could have been a cruel deck of cards, lived life to the utmost.

Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), Sable, 1988, oil and gesso on panel, 30 x 40 inches, Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

Phyllis was a force of nature. A child of Alice DuPont Mills and James P. Mills, who established the Thoroughbred breeding and training operation Hickory Tree Farm and Stable in Middleburg circa 1950, she too was an avid sportswoman from her earliest days and loved to ride and jump horses. She went to the Hill School in Middleburg and was friends with Jacqueline B. Mars, daughter of Forrest E. Mars, Sr. Her father was the driving force of Mars Incorporated, introducing M&M’s in 1941, among other now-household names. The girls along with Phyllis’s older sister Mimi were the first children to hunt with Orange County Hounds in The Plains. It was an idyllic life in the Virginia Piedmont.

Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), Iggy Visits Union Rags—Fairhill 2011, 2011, mixed media on toned paper, 4 ¼ x 8 ¾ inches, Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

Phyllis went on to graduate from the Ethel Walker School, major in Political Science at Finch College, and work for John F. Kennedy when he was Senator and later President. Just shy of her 22nd birthday in 1962, Phyllis was in a life-changing car accident. A head-on collision left her with a broken neck and a year of rehabilitation at a New York City hospital. She walked with crutches (and was confined to a wheelchair later in life).

Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), Point Lookout Farmlife, 2005, oil on panel, 48 x 48 inches, Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

Following her accident, when she was able, she attended the Maryland Hunt Cup. There, Jamie, five-and-a-half years her junior, saw her and was again captivated after having danced with her at a party. They had met by the time he was 12 years old. The couple married in 1968 and moved to Point Lookout Farm, a 240-acre farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. There they surrounded themselves with a menagerie of animals, among them her prized Connemara ponies and Paint horses. After her accident, she turned her love of horses to carriage driving, both for pleasure and competitively. She started Chadds Ford Stable, a breeding operation that produced Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags in 2012. Dogs were the Wyeths’ constant companions, and they split their time between Pennsylvania and their property in Tenants Harbor, Maine.

Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), Winner’s Circle, Belmont Stakes, 2012/2019, oil and acrylic on panel, 36 x 30 inches, Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

All the while, Jamie painted and captured the narrative of Phyllis’s sporting life and her multifaceted character for decades. The leaps and bounds he took away from his early subdued palette are seen in full force in these paintings. Perhaps he felt freer to experiment when he tried to encapsulate her vibrant spirit and fortitude, using electric colors and throwing paint. In pairings such as …And Then Into the Deep Gorge, completed in 1975, and Out of the Deep Gorge, the same subject revisited in 2002, Phyllis transforms from an enigmatic siren descending into the shadowy forest to a triumphant foil illuminated by a swirl of neon yellow. Jamie’s paintings of Phyllis are a mesmerizing and transfixing journey.

Jamie Wyeth (American, b. 1946), Out of the Deep Gorge, 2002, combined mediums on toned board, 24 x 29 ½ inches, , Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

At the opening event at NSLM, Jacqueline Mars said that her childhood friend Phyllis has come home. It is a poignant return, and the sentiment rings true in the NSLM galleries as Phyllis Mills Wyeth’s life unfolds through the eyes of her husband from one room to the next, an intimate experience in the original wing of the museum that was once a Federal-style house. At the event, Jamie shared an exchange he once had with Andrew Wyeth. He asked his famed father why he painted, and his answer was, “Well, Jamie, I paint for myself.” Jamie said he also thought of himself in the same way until recently, noting, “Now I know I was painting for Phyllis.” It is an honor to be the final venue for Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration and to share it with our community.

“Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration” is on view through June 28, 2020. It was organized by the Brandywine River Museum of Art and was generously underwritten at NSLM by Jacqueline B. Mars.


pfeiffer

Claudia Pfeiffer is the George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Curator at the National Sporting Library & Museum and has been with the organization since the position was first underwritten by the George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Foundation in 2012. Her primary focus is the research, design, interpretation, writing, and installation of exhibitions. E-mail Claudia at cpfeiffer@nationalsporting.org

One of the great things about this job is how often interesting tidbits of information unexpectedly crop up during routine work with the collections.  In library circles this phenomenon is known as serendipitous discovery and usually refers to how books on a subject or related subjects are shelved together or nearby each other.  This allows the searcher that finds one book on their topic to “serendipitously” find additional useful resources.  “I didn’t know I needed it until I found it,” is the usual comment.  In similar fashion, during reference work I often find fascinating information only tangentially related to that I was originally seeking.  This occurred most recently last month, when a question about our Facebook post for National Horse Day led me to discover the colorful character, Henry Augustus Ward.

The Facebook post was about a fossilized prehistoric horse tooth in the collection and a reader asked how the NSLM had acquired it.  Unfortunately the Library doesn’t have any record of who donated the tooth and the only documentation accompanying it is a specimen tag stating it was Eohippus species, dated from the Eocene, and was found in the Willwood Formation in Worland, Wyoming.  The bottom edge of the tag listed the supplier as Ward’s Natural Science Establishment, Inc. in Rochester NY.  On a whim I checked to see if the company was still in existence.  It is, and today they specialize in supplying classroom materials for science education.  Ward’s Science, as it is called today, was founded in 1862 by Henry Augustus Ward — a man whose life of adventure and travel sounds more like fiction than fact.

Henry Augustus Ward. From Wikimedia Commons.

Ward was born in Rochester, New York in 1834.  At the age of twelve he ran away from home and made his way on foot and by lake steamer to visit his father who was working in Chicago.  It was the first of many adventurous trips.  He was interested in geology and attended several universities, including Harvard where he studied under Louis Agassiz.  At twenty he landed a job as a tutor for his friend Charles Wadsworth.  They attended Mines School in Paris.  The two of them traveled throughout Europe but eventually Wadsworth’s poor health sent them south to warmer climes.  They journeyed to Egypt where they ascended the Nile 1000 miles and then traveled overland from Alexandria to Jerusalem, including a stop to climb Mt. Siani.  Ward stayed on in Europe after the tutoring job ended and began financing his education through the buying and selling of specimens.  It is during this time that he hits on making a career out of building specimen collections for museums and universities. 

On his way back to Rochester from this first European trip, Henry ended up contracting a fever (or small pox depending on the source) and was marooned somewhere along the western coast of Africa by the ship captain for fear of contagion among the crew and other passengers.  He was cared for by the locals and eventually made it back to Rochester, where at 26 he married and was appointed a professor at the University of Rochester.  He reportedly brought home upwards of 40,000 specimens from Europe and his obsession with collecting continued to grow. 

Catalogue of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fishes (1877). From the special collections at University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries

Within two years he founded the Ward’s Natural Science Establishment and began to sell not only geologic collections, such as fossils and minerals, but also natural history collections featuring skeletons and taxidermy mounts.  Ward’s would prove essential to the foundation of many American museums, allowing their core collections to be assembled quickly.  The company was also instrumental in the development of the science of museum taxidermy.  Many of the taxidermists that would eventually serve in America’s finest natural history museums had their start working for Ward’s.

After five years Ward abandoned the teaching profession and continued his life of adventure.  He dabbled in gold mining for a time both in the American West and in the Carolinas.  He became friends with Buffalo Bill Cody and P.T. Barnum, mounting buffalo heads for the former and no less than Jumbo the Elephant for the latter. 

P.T. Barnum’s Jumbo. From Ward’s Science.

He continued to travel to all parts of the world in search of specimens.  In later life he was especially interested in meteorites and amassed an impressive collection of them.  Even in death Ward was singular.  In 1904 on the 4th of July he was hit and killed by a car in Buffalo, NY.  His was the first pedestrian fatality caused by an automobile in that city.  It was a hit and run, although the driver was found and charged with manslaughter. The Buffalo Commercial ran a lengthy article about the accident that may be read here.

Henry Ward with a meteorite. From Wikimedia Commons.

Although Henry Ward wasn’t stuffed and mounted like his specimens, his brain was given to the Wilder Brain Collection at Cornell University, for research on the “physical characteristics of a brilliant mind.”  Ward’s ashes are interred in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester NY.  His grave is marked by a large jasper-flecked boulder that he brought back from Canada for the purpose. 

Ward’s grave in Mount Hope Cemetery. From Linda Hall Library.

It goes without saying that there is quite a bit more to learn about Henry August Ward than what I included in this short article.  I’d like to share my favorite description of him as well as some sources for further reading.

William T. Hornaday described Ward like this:

“His height is five feet eight, and at present his weight is 172 pounds.  If one could examine him analytically it would be found that internally he is composed of raw-hide, whale-bone and asbestos; for surely no ordinary human materials could for forty-five years so successfully withstand bad cooks, bad food and bad drinks that have necessarily been encountered by anyone who has, so recklessly of self, traveled all over creation.”— W. T. Hornaday, Biographic Memoirs of Deceased Fellows, Proceedings of the Rochester Academy of Science Vol. 5, pp. 241-251, May 1919. 

Resources for further investigation :


Erica Libhart has served as the Mars Technical Services Librarian at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) since early 2016. The focus of her position is collection services, working to increase accessibility to NSLM’s collection of books, periodicals, and archival materials. The NSLM collections span over 350 years of the history of equestrian sport, as well as fly fishing, wing shooting, and other field sports. Have a question? Contact Erica by e-mail.

I love my job. Period. Full stop. End of sentence.

George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Curator Claudia Pfeiffer and I travelled to New York City for the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Meet the Breeds event at the Jacob Javits Center, January 25-26, 2020. Two days of dogs, puppies, slobbery kisses, pats on the head (the dogs, not us), exhibition promotion, museum collaboration, and a few sneezes. Turns out, I have a slight allergy.

As mentioned in my previous blog entry on dog collars, the NSLM is partnering with the Museum of the Dog in New York City for the exhibition Identity and Restraint: Art of the Dog Collar. Selections from our dog collar collection will be displayed alongside artistic representations loaned by the Museum of the Dog. What better way to promote this than to go to the source?

American Kennel Club Meet the Breeds at Jacob Javits Center, NYC, January 25-26, 2020

The Museum of the Dog kindly allowed us to share their booth at the convention, where we set up a small display of collars and encouraged guests to visit the exhibition when it opens in 2021-2022. It was a great chance to spread the word, meet our colleagues at the Museum, and do a little research. We wanted to see some of the breeds, like the various hounds and dogs, we generally come across as a Sporting Museum.

Selection from NSLM Dog Collar Collection, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Greenan, 2015

“Meet the Breeds” is not just a clever name. We literally “meet the breeds.” Each breed has its own booth with both human and canine representatives. As the AKC website states, “Almost 200 breeds of dogs and cats will be on site in elaborately decorated booths with elements from the breeds’ history creatively displayed as well as opportunities to learn from the experts about each breed in attendance.” This did not disappoint.

The sweet Scottish Deerhound was still waking up when we approached. She was certainly more interested in her owner’s glazed doughnut than the strangers who were hoping for a little love. She lived up to her reputation as being one of the taller breeds, coming up to our waists.

Scottish Deerhound enjoying a treat!

Another tall friend was Jamie, a Borzoi, who was particularly in love with Claudia. Jamie sidled up to Claudia for a scratch and then slowly started wrapping her nose around Claudia’s legs, not allowing her to move. When she was finally able to sidestep a little, Jamie inched along with her, head still pressed against her legs.

Jamie the Borzoi and Claudia

Finn, an Irish Red Setter, enjoyed letting us coo and scratch his ears. Secret, a Scottish terrier, allowed us to pet him as his owner gave us insight into the breed.

During our important research, we also wanted to see the dogs that were near and dear to our hearts.

Full disclosure: I grew up with dogs, but in the last decade, I’ve been a committed rabbit and cat owner. Being at the Javits Center, though, reminded me why dogs were my first loves.

Please bear with me as I briefly reminisce: my first dog was a Siberian Husky, Ninotchka, whom my parents brought home shortly after they were married. By the time I came along, she was an older girl who was very patient with two toddlers. After an incident with a larger dog who just wanted to lick me to death when I was five (the breed shan’t be named), I had a fear of all dogs that weren’t my beloved husky. That changed a few years later when I met Molly, my godparents’ Rhodesian Ridgeback. I would curl up with Molly and we’d fall asleep together after crashing from full bellies after Thanksgiving dinner. But, my number one girl was a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix, Annie, whom we adopted a few years after Ninotchka passed away. We were together for 13 years before Annie passed away at the old age of 15.

Thankfully I was able to see the brethren of my old friends here. I made a beeline for the huskies, where I met Foxy. Wearing black was a poor choice, but like everyone else there, I didn’t care. I just wanted to find a way to take Foxy back to Virginia with me. My plan was foiled, but Foxy did allow me to take a picture with her.

Can you come home with me?

I also gleefully saw the Ridgebacks and both German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, who (not surprisingly) had a very long line.

Claudia saw a poodle, who looked just like her beloved canine companion, Kasey. After staring longingly for a few moments, Claudia decided to greet this doppelganger and quickly became friends. Claudia also had the luck of being on the receiving end of love from the cutest Staffordshire Terrier puppy we’d ever seen.

Have you seen a sweeter puppy?

Our booth was next to the Rottweilers and, decked out in their lederhosen and dirndls, they were extremely popular. When there was finally a small break in their crowd, we darted over to say hi to Maverick, who promptly backed up into me and sat on my feet. Not only were Maverick and his cohorts fashionably attired, but it helped dispel the negative stereotypes about this loving and biddable dog. This is one of the reasons why Meet the Breeds is so important: to inform and educate people, to provide the correct background and knowledge of the different breeds.

True Love!

Attending this event was wonderful in so many ways. Promoting the exhibition and getting such an encouraging response from the crowd was more than we could hope for and it was great to meet our counterparts at the Museum of the Dog. Identity and Restraint: Art of the Dog Collar is going to be a unique exhibition that will show how the relationship between humans and canines have evolved using tangible objects and fine art. But, also, it was rejuvenating. It had been a long week, a long drive to NY, and I was getting delirious. Walking sleepily into the convention center Sunday morning, I was instantly in a good mood getting kisses from the Akitas and Bergamese. We had fun recalling our pets from childhood and exchanging stories with our new colleagues and strangers alike, because nothing brings people together like a shared love of animals. Everywhere I looked, there was just an excitement and joy between attendees, both two-and-four-legged. Really, could there be a more wholesome event? In the words of wholesome Golden Girl Rose Nylund, “that’s dog love in your eyes!”

For more photos of dogs we were able to meet, check out our Facebook page or Instagram.

Lauren Kraut is the Collections Manager at the National Sporting Library & Museum. Her primary focus is to maintain and preserve the works of art in the collection and on loan. Email her at lkraut@NationalSporting.org