4 linear ft in 4 boxes
Processed by Brynn White, 2017
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Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lewis Wiel were well-reknowned exhibitors, judges, and breeders upon whom numerous awards, including Ken-L honors for three consecutive years, were bestowed. They began dabbling in dog breeding around 1922 and established Kerryall Kennels, based in the San Francisco area, in 1945. They specialized in terriers and had many BIS winners in the breeds Kerry Blue (Ch. Vixen’s Show-Off, Ch. Gered’s Candy Lamb, Fox Hill’s Topper), Lakeland (Ch. Aristocrat of Greeba, Ch. Tithebarn Replica, Ch. Limelight), and — to a lesser extent — the Wire Fox (Ch. Torontina, Ch. Promoter of Wirehart), Smooth Fox, and Irish Terriers. Wiel (d. 1967), an investment broker, served as a top officer in clubs including the San Mateo Kennel Club, Stewards Club of California, Golden Gate Kennel Club, United States Lakeland Terrier Club, United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club, and the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Southern California. He was an AKC judge of Kerry Blues beginning in 1950, and of Fox Terriers beginning in 1952, operating chiefly in the Northern California and Pacific Northwest area. He also penned the Lakeland Terrier breed column of the AKC Gazette. Wife Margery (d. 1965) was a fixture of the society pages and regarded as “one of the loveliest ladies of the fancy” (Popular Dogs). In the early 1950s, she was listed as one of the ten best-dressed women of the year, appearing appeared with a Kerry Blue in the pages of Life magazine (in which she was featured again as a member of an opera committee sponsoring culture). Both Wiels judged shows on a vacation to South America and ran the Golden Gate Kennel Club Show, which vastly grew in prestige during their tenure.
Scope and Content
The Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lewis Wiel photograph collection (1948-1965) is comprised of images from 19 albums, originally composed around breed — Lakeland, Kerry Blue, and Fox — and/or a specific show dog. While win shots constitute the bulk of the collection, there are also portraits (of the Wiels and of individual dogs), candids, and snapshots depicting the Wiels’ travel and leisure time with their dogs. Reknowned handler Harry Sangster is prominently featured throughout the collection, as is the work of esteemed West Coast dog show photographer Joan Ludwig. Highlights include behind-the-scenes images of Sangster grooming dogs, posing in front of a trailer, appearing on Art Linkletter’s “House Party” with a Lakeland (inscribed on the back by Linkletter), and with Mrs. Wiel and even Zsa Zsa Gabor. The occasional appearance of clippings and ephemera, including a “Best of Breed” Lakeland sign from the Westminster Dog Show, are noted in the collection inventory.
Albums were originally labelled with the breed or the call name of the dog(s) featured. Formal show names — including Ch. Tithebarn Limelight, Ch. Westcrag Warrior, Ch. Kere’s Candy Lamb, Ch. Vixen’s Show-Off, Ch. Foxhill’s Topper, and Ch. Promoter of Wireheart — are noted in the collection inventory when determined. These dogs may also appear in the albums labelled by breed.
Photographs are varyingly captioned on the verso.
The collection was donated in 1968 by the estate of Mr. Wiel.
Selections from the Lakeland Terriers series have been digitized and are available for reference. Please consult the Archivist.
General dog volumes and show catalogues from the library of Robert L. Wiel were added to the AKC Library rare books collection. For more information, consult the library OPAC and perform an advanced search by “Collection Type” for the “Robert L. Wiel collection.”