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Toledo Blade: AKC Oil-Breed Champion Visits Morris Museum

(Thursday, September 04, 2014)

“Times Past,” AKC Gazette: This month the Morris Museum, in Morristown, New Jersey, mounts an exhibition called The Dog Show: The Art of Our Canine Companions. The show features more than 100 paintings and canine artifacts, including several important pieces from the AKC collection.

Among them is Toledo Blade, an oil portrait of a celebrated English Setter painted by Edmund Henry Osthaus (1853–1928). Osthaus was brought to Toledo, Ohio, as a child by his German-immigrant parents. He was chief instructor, and eventually director, of the Toledo Academy of Fine Arts before setting up shop as a full-time sporting artist.

William Secord, in his book A Breed Apart, picks up the story:

“His portrait of Toledo Blade, in the AKC’s collection, is typical of his portraits of single dogs. Owned by J.E. Dager of Toledo, Ohio, Toledo Blade was exhibited in conformation shows as well as at field trials, and was the sire of many field trial winners.

“The art of Osthaus... benefitted greatly from having some of the best dogs in late 19th-century America to use as models, and part of Osthaus’s importance is as a chronicler of early American field-type dogs. He worked from life, and as he was himself an active hunter and field trial judge, he knew what to look for. Osthaus’ work became well known in the late 1890s and he soon was painting commissioned portraits for important sportsmen, as well as for himself.”

The Dog Show: The Art of Our Canine Companions, September 21–December 14, Morris Museum, at Morristown, New Jersey
Information: morrismuseum.orginfo@morrismuseum.org

Read the latest AKC Gazette, featuring Hound and Terrier Group breed columns, here.

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