MIDDLEBURG, VA– Two exhibitions on the life and career of nineteenth-century painter Edward Troye (1808-1874) are now on view at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM). Edward Troye and His Biographers: The Archives of Harry Worcester Smith and Alexander Mackay-Smith, on view in the Library through February, and Faithfulness to Nature: Paintings by Edward Troye, on view in the Museum through March 29, 2015, are the first in the newly introduced “Coming Home Series.”
“The Coming Home Series, an exciting new program developed at the institution, pairs one of our John H. Daniels Fellows with NSLM curators to research the Library’s extensive holdings and plan exhibitions and publication projects,” said NSLM Chairman Manuel H. Johnson. “The first in this series is a focus on the nineteenth century animal artist, Edward Troye. His work in particular epitomizes the aim of the series to mine some of the most important holdings of the Library.”
The Library exhibition on view in the Forrest E. Mars, Sr. Exhibit Hall until February 22, 2015 features archive documents, books, original sketches, paintings, and prints. The installation is developed from John H. Daniels Fellow Martha Wolfe’s research and essay delving into the efforts of the two twentieth-century scholars who championed Troye’s artwork, solidifying his place as an early animal and sporting artist in the United States. Wolfe writes, “The NSLM’s archives contain the story of three men whose lives spanned two centuries, whose interests overlapped and whose souls were kindred: Artist Edward Troye, the indomitable sportsman Harry Worcester Smith (1864-1945) and scholar, chronicler and author Alexander Mackay-Smith (1903-1998).”
The topic is tied closely to the institution. Mackay-Smith, who was also a founder and guiding influence of the NSLM forover four decades, wrote the book, TheRace Horses of America, 1832-1872: Portraits and other Paintings by Edward Troye, on the artist in 1981 based on three years of research at the Library. Wolfe notes, “More than thirty years after its publication, it is still considered the definitive text on Edward Troye.”
Claudia Pfeiffer, the George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Curator of Art used Mackay-Smith’s book as a guide to bring together forty-two paintings and sketches for the Museum exhibition, Faithfulness to Nature: Paintings by Edward Troye, with the advice of NSLM Museum Exhibitions and Collections Committee Chair F. Turner Reuter, Jr. An impressive list of private and public lenders contributed to the exhibition, including: The Jockey Club, NY; Bethany College, WV; Yale University Art Gallery, CT; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Pebble Hill Plantation, GA; and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, NY.
The museum exhibition explores the artist’s place within American art history, and his important role in creating visual documentation of the development of American Thoroughbred bloodlines and this country’s rich racing heritage and culture. Highlights include many of Troye’s most recognized portrayals of important race horses, jockeys, and trainers active in this country during the antebellum period; the artist’s first known surviving animal drawing; two acclaimed mural-sized paintings, A Bazaar in Damascus, 1856, and Syrian Ploughman, 1856; and his final painting, Waverly, 1872.
Manuel Johnson said about the exhibition, “It develops a narrative of Troye’s immense skill as a naturalist observer and painter of animals who attained great success and recognition among the leaders of the horse racing industry in a time when American art was still maturing.”
The National Sporting Library & Museum is dedicated to preserving, promoting and sharing the literature, art and culture of equestrian, angling and field sports. Founded in 1954, NSLM holds thousands of books on sporting topics including hunting, angling, equestrianism and horseracing, among others. The Library collection dates from the 16th-21st centuries. The Museum houses exhibits of American and European animal and sporting fine art. Information is shared through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications and special events. The NSLM is open to researchers and the general public.
Admission: Adults $10, Seniors (65 and older) $8, Youth (13–18) $8, Youth (12 & under) Free.
Library admission is always free to the public. Museum admission is free on Wednesdays and the final Sunday of each month. Museum admission is always free to NSLM Members.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m