Please join us in congratulating NSLM Board Member Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr., the owner of Demonstrative, winner of the 2014 Eclipse Award for Steeplechase Champion.

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Trainer Richard Valentine and Jacqueline Ohrstrom accept Steeplechase Champion for Demonstrative. Photo: photosbyz.com | source: slide 12 – http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/slideshows/slideshow/2014-eclipse-awards/2014-eclipse-awards

The racing world is abuzz over the announcement of the winners  at the 2014 Eclipse Awards dinner held on January 17, 2015.  Now in its 44th year, the American Thoroughbred industry’s equivalent to the Oscars was established in 1971, when the Daily Racing Form, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the National Turf Writers Association (not necessarily in that order) first got together to sponsor the accolade.  Twenty distinct categories are voted on annually to honor champion horses, trainers, and members of the media.

J.B. Faulconer was the Publicity Director at Keeneland, the horse racing facility in Kentucky, and is credited with the idea for the awards. He asked Kentucky-based sculptor Adalin Wichman (1922 – 2013), who was also an Advertising Director at Keeneland, to design a statue befitting of the new national honor, and the Eclipse Award was born. The first ones were handed out in 1972 to the 1971 winners.

Adalin Wichman with Eclipse Award photo by Jennifer Podis from Alison Wichman
Adalin Wichman with a gold-plated Eclipse Award, the finish given for Horse of the Year. The other bronzes are patinated.  photo by Jennifer Podis, image courtesy Alison Wichman, MD

The artist retained copyright, oversaw foundry production, and finished each in her studio over the years to assure the trophy’s continued quality. Still cast with the same care today, each bronze is mounted on a Kentucky-walnut base with an inscribed brass plaque. The NSLM has one of these casts with a rare brushed finish in its permanent collection, donated by the artist.

Eclipse Award
Adalin Wichman (American, 1922 – 2013), Eclipse Award, bronze on wooden base, 9 ½ x 6 inches, Gift of Adalin Wichman, 2011

Adalin Wichman, a sculptor, painter, and jewelry designer, lived to be 91 years old. She was honored for her achievements in the arts in 2011 with Kentucky’s state-wide Milner Award given by the Governor. Below is the letter Wichman wrote offering the Eclipse Award to the NSL in 2009.

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Letter written to NSLM Museum Exhibitions and Collections Chair F. Turner Reuter, Jr., Curatorial General Files, Adalin Wichman folder

Wichman modeled the horse bronze in the likeness of the undefeated British Thoroughbred and foundational sire Eclipse painted by the renowned eighteenth-century British artist George Stubbs and numerous followers.

George Stubbs (English, 1724 – 1806) Eclipse, 1770, oil on canvas, Private Collection | source: http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_234660/George-Stubbs/Eclipse,-1770

The venerable “Stubbs”… we all throw the illustrious artist’s name around as the password to sporting art, but he’s just the tip of an amazing iceberg of images enjoyed by sporting enthusiasts and art lovers. To all of you who get goose bumps at the mention of any of the other equestrian portrait greats – Alfred Munnings, Edward Troye, Benjamin Marshall, Henry Stull, John Frederick Herring, or more recently, Andre Pater, for example – know that you are in fine company. Mrs. Ohrstrom can often be found in the galleries of the NSLM, and she gets goose bumps too.

– Claudia Pfeiffer, George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Curator of Art

Further Reading:

Adalin Wichman, designer of the Eclipse Awards statuette, dies at 91
Daily Racing Form: http://www.drf.com/news/adalin-wichman-designer-eclipse-awards-statuette-dies-91

Lexington artist Adalin Wichman, known for her work and wit, dies at 91
Kentucky.com: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/03/12/2553870_lexington-artist-adalin-wichman.html?rh=1

J.B. Faulconer, ‘Father of the Eclipse Awards,’ Dies
BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/2119/jb-faulconer-father-of-the-eclipse-awards-dies#ixzz3Pg5WD2j7

Demonstrative wins Eclipse Award for champion steeplechaser; Palace Malice second in older male division
Aiken Standard: http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20150118/AIK0101/150119464

Demonstrative Named Steeplechase Champion
BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89631/demonstrative-named-steeplechase-champion

Demonstrative Crowned as Eclipse Award Champion
National Steeplechase Association: http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/news/demonstrative-crowned-eclipse-award-champion/

Demonstrative Wins 2014 Eclipse Award
Chronicle of the Horse: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/demonstrative-wins-2014-eclipse-award

Ohrstrom savors Demonstrative’s Eclipse Award win; Campbell not shocked by Palace Malice’s loss
Aiken Standard: http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20150119/aik0101/150119420

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The 2015 Sunday Sketch program will host local teachers and artists to guide art students of all ages.
The 2015 Sunday Sketch program will host local teachers and artists to guide art students of all ages.
Join NSLM for Sunday Sketch on the first Sunday of the month, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Each month a local art teacher or artist leads a sketching session in the art galleries, guiding participants on style, composition, or another aspect of drawing. Supplies (pencils, paper, sketch boards, and clipboards) will be provided for attendees.The 2015 program begins on February 1 with Judith Mijares, art teacher at Providence Academy in Leesburg, Virginia. Judith is the art teacher for the grade school and has over 10 years of teaching experience. The May 3 session features by Dr. Gerry Kiefer, assistant professor of art history at Shenandoah University. Dr. Kiefer teaches drawing, modern art, history of photography, American Art, contemporary art theory and criticism, and art appreciation. March and April sessions will be announced soon!

The program is free and open to the public of all ages. Participants will receive free admission to the Museum. Pre-registration is encouraged. To register or for more details, contact Educational Programs Manager Erin Livengood at 540-687-6542 x25 or elivengood@nsl.org.

Sunday, February 1, 2015
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Judith Mijares of Providence Academy

The Library was closed last week for maintenance and the Museum remained open. What were we doing during our week closed? Let me show you.

There are quite a few ongoing projects that we have to update the Library and modernize our collection organization practices. One of the long-standing projects was the periodicals section in the Lower Level of the Library.

Years of shuffling and crowding had taken their toll on the ability to navigate the Library's periodicals collection.
Years of shuffling and crowding had taken their toll on the ability to navigate the Library’s periodicals collection. Many magazines and newspapers had overrun their boxes or were not left any new space to grow as new issues are printed.

Our periodicals collection is of vital importance to researchers at NSLM. Over the past year, I’ve been working hard to reorganize the book collections that were stored on the lower level, as well as to process some backlogged donations. This cleared up enough space that we could finally reorganize and alphabetize our periodicals, leaving plenty of space for active subscriptions to grow. The reorganization took all week (and the weekend, too!) and wouldn’t have been completed in time without the help of one of our part-time workers, Emily. Emily does not have to go to the gym this week, she got a huge workout moving our back-issues of the Blood-Horse!

Enough to make an organizationally-obsessive librarian weep for joy!
Loose copies in boxes, clear labels, and alphabetized from A to Z.

While I was occupied on the Lower Level, Nicole was busy adding to the permanent collection objects on display in this building. Several bare spaces now have attractive prints and paintings, and the Library definitely feels a lot more cozy now.

Bare lower-level walls now have art!
Bare lower-level walls now have art!
We've had a large bare spot in the Main Reading Room since we sold all those Robin Hill prints in last year's book sale. Thanks to Nicole, we now have Cecil Aldin's depictions of the Grand National there instead.
We’ve had a large bare spot in the Main Reading Room since we sold all those Robin Hill prints in last year’s book sale. Thanks to Nicole, we now have Cecil Aldin’s depictions of the Grand National there instead.
Some of the sculptures around the Library moved, too.
Some of the sculptures around the Library moved, too.

Nicole also replaced labels throughout the Library. A larger font size and alterations to the layout will promote legibility and give the entire Library a unified look and feel.

 

A larger typeface makes reading easier throughout the Library.
A larger typeface makes reading easier throughout the Library.

Our stairwell wall got a new layer of paint, and some fabulous vinyl lettering to direct visitors to the Lower Level. The lettering was designed and installed by Nicole, who had a very busy week.

Vinyl lettering in hunter green directs visitors to the Lower Level.
Vinyl lettering in hunter green directs visitors to the Lower Level.

We took the opportunity to open the massive case that houses the toy stable. It took three of us to get the case open. We came away certain that the stable is well-protected! It was in need of a good cleaning, and the coachman who had fallen over is now returned to an upright state. Many thanks to Nicole for restoring order in our miniature equestrian structure.

The Stable and Coach house model were gifted to the NSLM by Paul Mellon in 1996. The hand-carved wooden horses and coach are dated c. 1912. The amazingly detailed stable and coach house – with coachman, dogs, cats (and mice!), tack and grooming supplies – were constructed in 1936.
The coachman fell over when the case was moved for carpet replacement. Now he's upright again!
The coachman fell over when the case was moved for carpet replacement. Now he’s upright again!

 

Lastly, we had new outdoor panels installed on the exterior of the building. These signs list our hours of operation, and I’ve been anxious to get them installed for quite a while now.

Now you can read all about our hours, right at the door!
Now you can read all about our hours, right at the door! Well, next to it, anyhow.

I hope you’ll come see us this week now that the Library’s open again!

In spite of growing up in rural Wisconsin, I have only been fishing a couple of times. I wasn’t very good at it. There seemed to be too much variety to have a chance of getting things right: lures, rods, fish varieties, and locations all seemed to be beyond me. I spent far more time hunting than fishing. But over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a chance to sit down and talk with Marcia Woolman, who will be hosting a fly-tying demonstration at NSLM shortly, and it’s unlocked the subject for me quite a bit.

Marcia Woolman is an avid trout fisherman, fly tier, and cold water conservationist. With over 33 years of experience with Trout Unlimited, she has a wealth of experience in the entomology of streams.
Marcia Woolman is an avid trout fisherman, fly tier, and cold water conservationist. With over 33 years of experience with Trout Unlimited, she has a wealth of experience in the entomology of streams.

It’s easy to get lost when you focus on the material objects involved in angling. For centuries, anglers have been expanding their options in search of flexibility. With her view beyond the plethora of options, Marcia gets to the heart of the matter: it’s about nature and how we interact with it. For much of Marcia’s presentation, the tie is an avenue for learning about nature. It’s really a lesson about all the players in the ecosystem; the life cycles of the mayfly and the fish, the changing of the seasons and the habits of all throughout the day. The successful angler will be the one who is most familiar with the habits of the animals in the ecosystem.

Since I live just a short walk from the Shenandoah River, I’ve been reading up on angling. Marcia’s been an inspiration: I may try fishing again this summer! I have a host of options for additional reading. The Chapman Collection is a huge resource on fly fishing.

On the wall of the Main Reading Room, we have a selection of flies collected and framed by George Chapman.
On the wall of the Main Reading Room, we have a selection of flies collected and framed by George Chapman.

Since I live so close to the Shenandoah, it makes sense to look up bass fishing first, as the Shenandoah is a haven for both smallmouth and largemouth bass. The Chapman Collection has quite a few titles on bass fishing, and many general fly fishing titles as well. The aggressive nature of bass also make it an excellent option for beginners. Perfect!

Larger fish prey on swimming mice and small rodents. The mouse is a staple in fly fishing.
Larger fish prey on swimming mice and small rodents. The mouse is a staple in the fly fishing repertoire.
The flies were carefully framed by Chapman, who donated a large fly fishing book collection to the Library in 2011.
The flies were carefully framed by Chapman, who donated a large fly fishing book collection to the Library in 2011.
These rare pre-serial Orvis rods make perfect centerpieces, and are the gift of NSLM member Viviane M. Warren and her son, Nicholas Frederick Pratt.
These rare pre-serial Orvis rods make perfect centerpieces, and are the gift of NSLM member Viviane M. Warren and her son, Nicholas Frederick Pratt.
Flies tied by Doug Swisher, whose books on fly fishing strategy are available for access in the Main Reading Room.
Flies tied by Doug Swisher, whose books on fly fishing strategy are available for access in the Main Reading Room.

Marcia’s presentation, “Tying Flies for All the Right Reasons” will be on February 7 in the Library. We still have a few spots left, so contact me if you would like to join us!

In the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room, I came across a rare gem, tucked away in the John H. Daniels Manuscripts Collection. It’s a poem called “The Bonie Moorhen: A Hunting Song.” The manuscript is an autograph manuscript by Robert Burns (1759-1796), the foremost national poet of Scotland. Burns wrote poetry and composed songs, and he also collected Scottish folk songs for publication. Many Americans haven’t heard of Robert Burns, but still sing his song “Auld Lang Syne” at the end of each year.

Its not every day you can crack open an autograph manuscript from the king of Scottish poetry!
Its not every day you can crack open an autograph manuscript from *the* Scottish poet!

At face value, the poem is a hunting song about the difficulty of capturing a grouse in the wild. A local manages to win away with the grouse where all others failed.

The transcribed hunting song. A "moor-hen" is more widely known to us as a grouse, whose excellent camouflage and sudden flight makes it a difficult target.
The transcribed hunting song. A “moor-hen” is more widely known to us as a grouse, whose excellent camouflage and sudden flight makes it a difficult target.

However, there’s intrigue and romance afoot in this poem: The poem serves as an allegory for Burns’ relationship with Nancy McLehose, who exchanged letters with Burns in the 1780s. Nancy was estranged from her husband, and urged Burns to refrain from publishing the transparent song.

Apparently, the poem is a not-so-loosely veiled allegory about Burns and his correspondent friend, Clarinda, who married a Glasgow gentleman named Maclehose.
Apparently, the poem is a not-so-loosely veiled allegory about Burns and his correspondent friend, Clarinda, who married a Glasgow gentleman named McLehose.
Burns did not publish the poem in his lifetime, submitting to Clarinda's request not to publish. The poem was published after Burns' death.
Burns did not publish the poem in his lifetime, submitting to Clarinda’s request not to publish. The poem was published after Burns’ death.

Do you want to learn more about Robert Burns? If you’re in the region, you should check out the upcoming event, Hylton in the Highlands at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on GMU’s Prince William Campus. This year’s festival is next Saturday, January 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The day-long festival celebrates Scottish culture with music, interactive presentations, exhibits, and food tastings.

Further, the Hylton Center also hosts a Burns Supper to commemorate the life and works of Robert Burns. The event is complete with a special performance by the musical duo Alan Reid and Rob van Sante, a poetry reading, Scotch whisky tasting and the presentation of Scotland’s “National Dish,” haggis.

Fellow Kathleen Crandell
Fellow Kathleen Crandell

We have two Fellows researching at the Library currently – Collin McKinney and Kathleen Crandell. We’ve already met Collin, so now we’ll meet Kathleen!

Where are you from?

Clarke County, Virginia

Do you have any institution affiliation (such as a university or museum)?

No current affiliation but I received my PhD from Virginia Tech.

What are you researching?

A historical perspective on the causes, incidence, management and treatment of laminitis in horses’ is my topic. My intention is to document the changes in the understanding and treatment of this devastating disease in equines throughout the centuries to present day. Although even today we do not know the exact mechanism for the second leading cause of death in horses and ponies, perhaps by looking at how it has been handled in the past will further the understanding of how to treat the animals today.

Why are you researching at NSLM?

Because of the excellent selection of books from centuries past on veterinary care of animals.

What is your goal with your research?

To write a comprehensive article on the topic for publication.

How did you find out about the Fellowship program and NSLM?

I have been a member of the National Sporting Library and Museum for over 20 years and saw the Fellowship advertised in the newsletter.


We’re happy to have Kathleen researching with us at the NSLM until the end of March. Feel free to leave a comment or question for her here!

Our first five bookmark designs contain images from the Library and Museum collections.
Our first five bookmark designs contain images from the Library and Museum collections.

We’re excited to announce our first NSLM bookmarks available at the Library! These limited-edition bookmarks are available for free to our visitors, and include images of artwork and illustrations found in the collections of the National Sporting Library & Museum. Collect all five; when these designs are gone we plan to have new ones!