Sometimes the best things are found by accident, and that is what happened when I came across this photo album in the archives. I was downstairs looking for some photographs of Middleburg, but instead came across this album on the Los Altos Hunt. I was pretty excited, as a native Northern Californian. I was born in Redwood City, not too far from Woodside and Portola Valley, where the Los Altos Hunt Club would meet.
Anyway, I was very confused about why the archive box also contained several baby albums, until I realized I was in the Wallace W. Nall collection at the NSLM.
Wallace W. “Wally” Nall (1922-2003) was a painter involved with horses for most of his life. After service in the Army’s First Cavalry during WWII, he studied at the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. His early career began with fashion illustration in studios in San Francisco and New York.
In addition to judging and showing, Nall founded the Los Altos Hunt in Woodside, California, in 1953 and served as its first master until 1956. Nall designed the hunt buttons for the Los Altos Hunt. In later years he lived in New Jersey, riding to hounds there, before establishing himself as a highly sought-after portraitist in and around Middleburg, Virginia in the 1970s.
Wally Nall brought his firsthand knowledge of horsemanship to many of his commissioned portrait work, which is in many collections in Virginia. Many of Nall’s works include foxhunting scenes, drawn from his experience riding to hounds. The Virginia huntsmen Nall portrayed include Melvin Poe, Orange County Hounds; Albert Poe, Piedmont Fox Hounds; Charles Kirk, Piedmont Fox Hounds; Fred Duncan, Middleburg Hunt; and Charlie George, Middleburg Hunt.
You can view this album at the NLSM! Just drop me or Erica a line.