National Sporting Library & Museum

National Sporting Library & Museum The National Sporting Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving, promoting and sharing the literature, art and culture of equestrian and field sports.
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Founded in 1954, the institution has over 24,000-books dating from the 16th-21st centuries. The John H. Daniels Fellowship program supports the research of visiting scholars. The Museum, a newly renovated and expanded historic building on the Library campus, houses exhibits of American and European fine sporting art. Information is shared through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications and special events. The NSLM is open to researchers and the general public. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.nsl.org. NSLM 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg, VA 20117

Operating as usual

06/19/2020
Union Rags: An American Love Story (Full Version)

Phyllis Mills Wyeth loved Union Rags, winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes. So much so, a short documentary was made about it called "Union Rags: An American Love Story."

Be sure to watch the full version of this film on YouTube, and tune into our virtual Coffee with the Curator, Saturday, June 20th, with Claudia Pfeiffer. Along with his other works, Claudia will be discussing Jamie Wyeth's "Winner's Circle, Belmont Stakes."

See more at http://www.trackpackpa.com/unionrags and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/paracing

This Saturday join us from your own home for an intimate look at "Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration" with Claudia Pfeif...
06/18/2020

This Saturday join us from your own home for an intimate look at "Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration" with Claudia Pfeiffer, NSLM's George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Curator.

Get your tickets here: https://bit.ly/2AC3S6k

Don't forget your coffee! ☕

🎨 : Jamie Wyeth, "Overslept", 2018 acrylic and oil on innerglo wood panel, The Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

Are you ready for this evening? We are!  It is not too late to get your ticket for "Reining in the Beast with Katrin Bon...
06/18/2020

Are you ready for this evening? We are!

It is not too late to get your ticket for "Reining in the Beast with Katrin Boniface" this evening at 6PM.

Get your tickets here: https://bit.ly/2z8bRI3

It's National Go Fishing Day! 🎣We hope you have the chance to get outside to celebrate this day, but if not, click the l...
06/18/2020
Angling in Special Collections

It's National Go Fishing Day! 🎣

We hope you have the chance to get outside to celebrate this day, but if not, click the link below to explore our digital exhibition "Angling in Special Collections."

We'd love to hear your best fishing story! Comment below with your tall tales! 🐟

See the story

Methods used by classic equine trainers most familiar to us are still in use today, but the central tenants of these sys...
06/17/2020

Methods used by classic equine trainers most familiar to us are still in use today, but the central tenants of these systems are likely to astonish modern equestrians.

Join the conversation on June 18th at 6PM with Katrin Boniface as she examines these methods and the changing views on animal existence.🐎

Get your ticket link here: https://bit.ly/2z8bRI3

Read Dr. Charles Caramello's latest published piece as he explores the work of celebrated horseman Xenophon in an extrac...
06/17/2020
Rereading Xenophon's "On Horsemanship" - Horsetalk.co.nz

Read Dr. Charles Caramello's latest published piece as he explores the work of celebrated horseman Xenophon in an extract from his upcoming book, "Horsemen, Horse Soldiers, and Grand Illusions."

Dr. Caramello is a current John H. Daniels Fellow at the NSLM, and his article is based on research done in the Library.

Whatever one’s discipline or its tutelary giants, rereading Xenophon of Athens, the celebrated horseman from classical antiquity, always repays the effort.

We're starting to pack up "Leading the Field: Ellen Emmet Rand." We're sad to say goodbye to it but here are several poo...
06/17/2020

We're starting to pack up "Leading the Field: Ellen Emmet Rand." We're sad to say goodbye to it but here are several pooches from the exhibit to help cheer us all up!

Credit: Ellen Emmet Rand, "William Blanchard Rand Reading with Dog" (detail), 1910, oil on canvas, 40 x 20 inches, Collection of Rosina Rand; "Boys with Horses" (detail), 1928, oil on canvas, 79 x 64 3/4 inches, Collection of Rosina Rand; "Primrose Whitfield" (detail), 1933, oil on canvas, 37 3/8 x 26 3/8 inches, Collection of William Ashley Harris; "Charlotte Miner" (detail) 1927, oil on canvas, 46 x 36 inches, The William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut; "Mrs. I. Tucker Burr, Jr., M.F.H. The Norfolk" (detail), oil on canvas, 48 x 37 inches, Collection of the Burr Family.

Take a trip into art storage with Collections Manager Lauren Kraut as she gives you a peek of what lies behind closed do...
06/16/2020
Behind Closed Doors

Take a trip into art storage with Collections Manager Lauren Kraut as she gives you a peek of what lies behind closed doors in this week's blog post.

Like most museums, the NSLM has only about 10% of its collection on display. Most is in storage, which is where I’ve been spending a lot of time lately and found myself repeating, “I’d love to put …

Did you know that Ellen Emmet Rand did not learn how to jump horses until she was 53? And she did it sidesaddle! 🐴Learn ...
06/14/2020

Did you know that Ellen Emmet Rand did not learn how to jump horses until she was 53? And she did it sidesaddle! 🐴

Learn more about her career and personal life in our virtual panel discussion, "Ellen Emmet Rand: Portraitist & Equestrian."

Visit the free link here: https://archive.org/details/final-video

How old were you when you learned to jump❓

This #SportingPhotoFriday is a picture of a boy driving two horses. The paper frame is still in decent condition, though...
06/12/2020

This #SportingPhotoFriday is a picture of a boy driving two horses. The paper frame is still in decent condition, though you can see the right edge of the photograph has been slightly damaged.

We don’t know anything about this photo, except that we think it was taken around 1875. As such, it’s fun to imagine the details, who is the boy and where is he going? He’s dressed rather smartly, perhaps he’s going to church or a social event? Maybe he’s going to the train station to pick someone up, a family member or perhaps a teacher who has come to teach in the local schoolhouse? Also, what was the purpose for taking the picture? Is it commemorating an event or is it simply capturing everyday life towards the end of the 19th century? How did this photo come to be?

Photographs, at this point, were usually taken inside a studio because of the bulky equipment. The medium for this, however, is a tintype: thin tin-like sheets of iron coated with black enamel. They were sturdier than their predecessors, like the daguerreotype, and allowed photographers to become more mobile. Despite the advancement in technology, subjects still had to remain motionless for up to a minute. This is difficult for humans and even more so for animals. You can see the boy was only partly successful in keeping the horses still since the horse on the right is slightly blurred.
What are your ideas behind the photo?

Credit: Boy with Two-Horse Carriage, c. 1875 (?), tintype, 4 ½ x 6 ½ inches, National Sporting Library & Museum, Judith and Jo Tartt, Jr. Photography Collection, 2018

☕ Grab a cup of coffee and tune in with Claudia Pfeiffer, NSLM's George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Curator, as she takes you ...
06/11/2020

☕ Grab a cup of coffee and tune in with Claudia Pfeiffer, NSLM's George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Curator, as she takes you through "Phyllis Mills Wyeth: A Celebration", June 20th at 10am.

Get your tickets here: https://bit.ly/2AC3S6k

Best part is - you can stay in your pajamas! 👍

🎨 : Jamie Wyeth, "Overslept", 2018 acrylic and oil on innerglo wood panel, The Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection

🐎  From the invention of "draw reins" and works on "farriery", to the rise of the "horse whisperer", our equine friends ...
06/10/2020

🐎 From the invention of "draw reins" and works on "farriery", to the rise of the "horse whisperer", our equine friends have seen radical changes in training.

Join Katrin Boniface virtually for an examination of these training methods and the changing views on animal existence on June 18th at 6PM (EST).

Register here: https://bit.ly/2z8bRI3

Captain Thomas Williamson spent twenty years in India. He ultimately wrote a number of books featuring his experiences a...
06/09/2020
Wild Sports of the East

Captain Thomas Williamson spent twenty years in India. He ultimately wrote a number of books featuring his experiences abroad. One such book was "Wild Sports of the East." His detailed writings were paired with vivd illustrations drawn by Samuel Howitt.

This week's blog post will introduce you to Captain Williamson and take you on a visual adventure through his book, "Wild Sports of the East."

This week I’d like to share Oriental Field Sports: being a complete, detailed, and accurate description of the wild sports of the East by Captain Thomas Williamson.  Published in 1807, this fo…

On This Day in Sporting History, in 1973, Secretariat wins the Triple Crown at Belmont Stakes. On July 4, 1972, he made ...
06/09/2020

On This Day in Sporting History, in 1973, Secretariat wins the Triple Crown at Belmont Stakes.

On July 4, 1972, he made his two-year-old debut at the Aqueduct racetrack finishing fourth, the only time he failed to place. The next six months saw him win seven of nine races. Secretariat seemed to be a favorite for the illustrious Triple Crown until he came in third at the Wood Memorial Stakes weeks before the Kentucky Derby. At Churchill Downs, though, he came from the rear to not only win, but set a record of finishing in 1 minute and 59 seconds.

A couple weeks later, Secretariat won at the Preakness Stakes in Maryland. The infield electronic time clock malfunctioned. The official hand clock recorded Secretariat crossing the finish line at 1:54 2/5. This was contested based on two other hand clocks held by the Daily Racing Forms and, after testimony was given and video was reviewed, it was decided that the official time was 1:53, a new record.

The last leg of the Triple Crown was held on June 9 at Belmont Stakes, drawing the track’s second-largest crowd at over 69,000 attendees. Secretariat broke well from the four-horse field and continued to thunder towards the finish line, shattering records along the way. This has been called the “greatest performance by a racehorse in this century.” He broke not only the track record (set in 1957) completing the race in 2 minutes and 24 seconds, but also the fastest on any dirt track worldwide, winning by 31 lengths, yet another record.

Secretariat was the first Triple Crown winner since Citation 25 years earlier in 1948. Just a year later, in 1974, Secretariat was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Here’s a Sports Illustrated article published a few days after Secretariat’s historic win: https://vault.si.com/vault/1973/06/18/history-in-the-making

Credit: Richard Stone Reeves Archive Collection at NSLM

Submit your application to the NSLM's 2021 John H. Daniels Fellowship Program! 📣 The fellowship program serves to promot...
06/08/2020

Submit your application to the NSLM's 2021 John H. Daniels Fellowship Program! 📣

The fellowship program serves to promote awareness of, and innovative, scholarly use of the institution's unique collections focused on equestrian and field sports.

The ideal applicants are researchers who wish to use the NSLM's collections in support of original scholarship and who have plans for publication. Fellowships are awarded for two months or less. The maximum stipend is $2000 per month. Funds are awarded in honor of the legacy of sportsman and book collector John H. Daniels.

For more information and to apply https://bit.ly/3b5fo8f

Deadline for application is August 1, 2020.

06/08/2020
Paul Brown: Childhood Drawings & Watercolors

Take an intimate look at some of Paul Brown's earliest works and watercolors with Grace Pierce, NSLM's Visitor Services Associate and Curatorial Intern.

National Sporting Library & Museum Intern and Visitor Services Associate Grace Pierce takes viewers on an intimate look at the childhood drawings, personal w...

Timeline Photos
06/06/2020

Timeline Photos

#SportingPhotoFriday shows the dangers of trying to catch that perfect shot! This was taken at the Jamaica Race Course i...
06/05/2020

#SportingPhotoFriday shows the dangers of trying to catch that perfect shot! This was taken at the Jamaica Race Course in Queens in 1936. The title of this photo is “Cameraman flirted with disaster to get this shot”: according to the accompanying text, he “got his snap as the field thundered down on him and he had to move fast to get out of the way.” Quite the understatement! Closest to the rail is Tenless, and on the outside is Race Craft. The photographer was able to capture the electricity of the race and we can see the intensity on the jockey’s face as he seems to look us in the eye. Despite a man standing in the middle of the track, he doesn’t seem fazed.

Notice the fairly casual attire of the jockeys. This was the era before such safety measures as goggles, helmets, and flak jackets. The Jockeys’ Guild was founded in 1940 and one of its purposes was to establish rider safety. Due to James “Goggles” McCoy, goggles were occasionally seen on the tracks in the late 1930s, but became more prominent in the 1940s. Jockeys began wearing helmets in the 1950s, and safety vests were introduced in the 1980s, making way for the flak jacket in the 1990s. The Guild continues to focus on ensuring the safety of all riders. The source material for this section is from their History page, it was a fascinating read, be sure to check it out!

The Jamaica Race Course opened on April 27, 1903 and was a popular track, hosting, amongst others, the Excelsior Handicap and the Jamaica Handicap. After being absorbed under the umbrella of the Greater New York Association, the track closed in 1959 and was demolished to make room for a housing development. Thankfully, we still have this snapshot of such an exhilarating moment.

Credit: Cameraman Flirting with Disaster, 1936, gelatin silver print, 6 x 7 ¾ inches, National Sporting Library & Museum, Judith and Jo Tartt, Jr. Photography Collection, 2018

Sources:

Brooklyn Backstretch: https://brooklynbackstretch.com/2011/10/07/good-bye-jamaica/

Jockeys' Guild: https://www.jockeysguild.com/

Michelle Guzman, our George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Librarian, wasn't expecting to find a photo album featuring the Los Al...
06/03/2020
Wally Nall’s Los Altos Hunt Album

Michelle Guzman, our George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Librarian, wasn't expecting to find a photo album featuring the Los Altos Hunt in California when she was searching for photos of Middleburg.

She soon realized that the photos she found were part of the fantastic Wallace W. Nall Collection.

Check out our latest blog for a peak inside this wonderful collection! 🐾🐎

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 inst…

This Day in Sporting HistoryOn this day, May 31, jockey George Monroe Woolf was born in 1910 in Cardston, Alberta, Canad...
05/31/2020

This Day in Sporting History

On this day, May 31, jockey George Monroe Woolf was born in 1910 in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. Though he is perhaps best known in popular culture as the rider for Seabiscuit, he was a prolific jockey, who was inducted into multiple racing Halls of Fame.
He was born into family of professional riders, with a circus acrobat rider mother and rancher and stagecoach driver father. As a teen, Woolf started riding in races and rodeo competitions. He eventually moved to California, where his reputation as a skilled and winning jockey continued to grow.

The late 1930s were particularly successful for him as he continued to participate in major races, riding future Hall-of-Famers, like Alsab, Busher, Devil Diver, and Whirlaway, to victory. Dubbed “The Iceman,” Woolf was known for his calm demeanor before and during a race, and his precision became legendary. He studied the techniques of his rivals and how he would overcome them to win. As one of his contemporaries said, Woolf “didn’t ride in his races, he crafted them.”

By the time Woolfe took over as Seabiscuit’s jockey in 1938, the Thoroughbred had already proven himself to be one of the best in the country. However, he still had to contend with 1937’s Triple Crown winner, War Admiral. They finally met on November 1, 1938 at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland. War Admiral was known as a quick starter from the first and Seabiscuit was a pace stalker, who would eventually pull ahead of the pack – bets favored the former. The bell rang and, to most everyone's surprise, Seabiscuit and Woolf started out in front. War Admiral, ridden by Charles Kurtsinger, began to overtake their rivals. Woolf pulled back slightly before pushing ahead for the win, earning Seabiscuit the title of American Horse of the Year in the process.

After his illustrious win with Seabiscuit, Wolfe continued to race and rack up wins. On January 3, 1946, he filled in as jockey for a friend. During the race, he fell to the ground, hitting his head. This was possibly the result of complications from the diabetes he had been suffering from for several years. Woolfe passed away the following day, he was only 35.

The George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award was created to recognize those jockeys who continue in his spirit. He has been inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame, Canada Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and Cardston Sports Hall of Fame. In 2010, a statue of Woolf was erected in his hometown of Cardston. It shows Woolf as he rode Seabiscuit to victory in that famous 1938 battle of Thoroughbred giants.

For further information, see Laura Hillenbrand’s "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" or PBS’ "Seabiscuit: American Experience."

Credit line: Seabiscuit on workout with George Woolf, Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation.

Sources:

CBC Radio Canada:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/seabiscuit-bronze-unveiled-at-alberta-museum-1.875927

America’s Best Racing:
https://www.americasbestracing.net/the-sport/2017-george-woolf-the-unforgettable-iceman

PBS:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/seabiscuit-bio-woolf/

Join us today at 2:00 pm for our free live Sunday Sketch on Zoom! Learn the tips and tricks on using the grid method to ...
05/31/2020

Join us today at 2:00 pm for our free live Sunday Sketch on Zoom!

Learn the tips and tricks on using the grid method to perfect proportion, value studies, and the creation of a bigger composition. Artist Kim Richards takes inspiration from Gustav Muss-Arnolt’s hound studies in our Permanent Collection for this free drawing class!

To join Sunday Sketch click the following link: https://buff.ly/3gwnEAT and use Meeting ID: 952 3491 9245

Sporting Photo Friday highlights "Liberty Magazine," a weekly publication that launched in 1924 and lasted until 1970. I...
05/29/2020

Sporting Photo Friday highlights "Liberty Magazine," a weekly publication that launched in 1924 and lasted until 1970. Its general content format was appealing to many consumers and claimed to be almost as popular as The "Saturday Evening Post." In its pages, Liberty was filled with articles, short stories, cartoons, games, and color photos. Famous writers who contributed included Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dashiell Hammett, and Agatha Christie. Even celebrities jumped in, like Greta Garbo with her intimate prose “Why I Will Never Marry.” James M. Cain’s "Double Indemnity" was first serialized here, and the inspiration for "Mr. Ed" first appeared as short stories, titled "The Talking Horse," by Walter R. Brooks. Liberty also attracted well-known artists and included work by Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss.

This issue’s (January 29, 1938) cover art was produced by illustrator and portrait artist Robert George Harris. In addition to Liberty, Harris’ art was included in many respected publications, including "Saturday Evening Post" and "Good Housekeeping." Though the cover features a young woman in a swimsuit, it doesn’t appear to have any connection to any of the articles. Imagine walking past a newsstand, perhaps bundled up against the January cold and snow. How warm and inviting it looks! Next thing you know, you’ve handed over your five cents and another sale has been completed!

Cover art credit: Robert George Harris (American, 1911-2007), "Liberty magazine cover," January 1938, 11 ½ x 8 ½ inches, ink on paper, National Sporting Library & Museum

Address

102 The Plains Rd
Middleburg, VA
20117

Opening Hours

Friday 14:00 - 15:00
Friday 11:00 - 12:00
Saturday 14:00 - 14:00
Saturday 11:00 - 12:00

Telephone

(540) 687-6542

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Comments

Was it English Eclipse or American Eclipse in the running? The Engraving you show appears to be [English] Eclipse. Dr.J
IS THIS YOUR COACH MINUS THE FOOTMEN AND PASSENGERS! THE MYSTRY CONTINUES!
Thank you for a wonderful afternoon.
We enjoyed a trip to the Museum earlier this week during a visit to my daughter and son-in-law in The Plains. On the way out we were advised that Dr. Seuss' estate had recently published "The Horse Museum," a book for children featuring horse artworks much like those in the NSLM. My daughter and I found the book in the Library and enjoyed reading it side by side. Thanks for providing such pleasant facilities for families to enjoy together!
Love the morning sun glow on this- the bird on the pommel was a bonus :)
Don’t miss our visiting Falcon’s event!
So beautiful yesterday
Check this out
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The end of a day
what's in the brittney breed category