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The Morris & Essex Kennel Club dog show taking place October 1 at Colonial Park in Somerset, New Jersey, will continue a historic tradition in the dog world, harking back to the legendary shows of the early to mid-20th century that were hosted by Mrs. Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge on the grounds of her estate. From 1927 to 1957, the Morris & Essex shows were highlights of not only the dog show world but also the New York social world. In 2000 the shows were revived, and Morris & Essex is now an elegant and much-anticipated event on the dog show calendar held every five years.

For only the second time in its history, the 2015 Morris & Essex dog show is featuring a juried fine art show celebrating the purebred dog and the spirit of the event. Judging the Morris & Essex Art Show is William Secord, of the William Secord Gallery in New York City. Mr. Secord is recognized as the world authority on 19th-century dog painting and is founding director of the AKC Museum of the Dog, first known as The Dog Museum of America.

“The art show adds so much to this very special dog show, and we are thrilled to have Mr. Secord judging once again and excited to feature works by the world’s talented dog artists,” said Wayne Ferguson, Morris & Essex Kennel Club president and show chair.

The artworks were judged in categories according to the seven breed groups, and the club announced the show’s group winners on September 6. “Congratulations go out to the extremely talented dog artists who have won the group competition,” Mr. Ferguson said. “We are delighted to have had nearly 200 images of outstanding dog art submitted from around the world. Our international art show adds so much to this very special dog show, and we are excited to be featuring and selling these works both on the show grounds and through our online gallery. It’s also exciting that several of the artists are entering and showing dogs as well. It’s an outstanding lineup.”

Following are the winners of the art show’s group competition:



Sporting Group winner

“Luna,” graphite pencil on watercolor paper, by Christine Dabbs of Holly Springs, North Carolina. ($450)



perfection working

Working Group winner

“Aged to Perfection,” oil on board, by Carole Doerr Allen of Flemington, New Jersey. ($3,000)



insightful hound

Hound Group winner

“Insightful,” photography, by Rhonda Cassidy of Topeka, Kansas. ($1,200)



three amigos terrier

Terrier Group winner

“Three Amigos,” oil on canvas, by Michele Amatrula of New York City. ($18,000)



curiosity toy

Toy Group winner

“Curiosity,” oil on canvas, by D. Gerard Walshe of Summerville, South Carolina. ($1,950)



frenchie non sporting

Non-Sporting Group winner

“Frenchie,” graphite pencil on watercolor paper, by Christine Dabbs of Holly Springs, North Carolina. ($450)



focused herding

Herding Group winner

“Focused,” acrylic, by Betsy Johnston of Oakley, California. ($675)


Each group winner of the Morris & Essex Art Show is invited to the judges’ dinner on September 30, the evening before the dog show, and will receive a commemorative rosette. Best in Show of the art show will be selected by Mr. Secord, and during the dinner proceedings Mr. Secord and M&E Art Show Chair Debra Lampert-Rudman will present the winner with a $1,000 check and a more elaborate rosette.

All winning artworks will be displayed and available for sale at both the judges’ dinner and on the grounds of the Morris & Essex dog show on October 1. In addition, all art show entries, including the group-winning and Best in Show pieces, will be displayed and available for sale in a virtual gallery through December 1 at this link:

A percentage of all artwork sales will go to the Morris & Essex Kennel Club’s charitable donations to canine non-profit organizations.

—Information and images courtesy Morris & Essex Kennel Club

For more information on the art show, contact M&E Art Show Chair Debra Lampert-Rudman at


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