Dogcrazy Artist Information

This is not meant as a compendium of dog artists. In order to avoid including really long listings with items in our DOGCRAZY COLLECTION eBay store, I've created this page to give details about artists. This list will grow as I enter more pieces in the store.


Robert Kennedy Abbett is one of the most recognized of contemporary sporting dog artists. In addition, he has had one of the most varied and successful careers around. Born in Hammond, Indiana, in 1926, Robert was the son of a salesman for a paint company. As a child, it was photography that would fascinate him. He graduated from Purdue University, in 1946, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science. Robert began to study art at the University of Missouri, where he earned a degree in Fine Arts, in 1948. After graduation, until 1952, he attended night and weekend classes at the Chicago and American Academies.

Abbett began his career in commercial art working for a studio in Chicago. When advertising budgets were redirected to television and magazines opted for photography, Abbett switched to the editorial market. In 1955, he moved to Westport, Connecticut, an enclave of admen from the big New York City agencies and freelancers. For the next 20 years, he would paint movie posters and do illustrations for everything from pulp fiction magazines to
Reader’s Digest. He painted the covers of many paperback books for most of the major publishers, including illustrating the entire Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and John Carter series.

In the 1970s, Robert and his wife purchased an old former dairy, Oakdale Farm, in Bridgewater, Connecticut, and began building a new home. Abbett found incredible inspiration from the woods, fields and wildlife surrounding his new home and enjoyed hunting with his English Setter. He began to paint all he saw. In 1970, he was commissioned to do a painting of a neighbor’s English Setter. When this was released as a limited edition print and sold out quickly, Robert Abbett decided to turn his attention to gallery art. He entered and won many of the stamp and print competitions around the country and the commissions poured in, allowing him to travel and hunt far and wide. His work has graced the cover of many magazines including
The Pointing Dog Journal and The American Kennel Gazette. Paintings and prints of Abbett’s work are sold in galleries throughout the country and have become popular with collectors. His paintings can be found in many museums. These days, when Robert and Marilyn Abbett are not traveling, they divide their time between Connecticut and Scottsdale, Arizona.


Beverly S. Abbott was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and later relocated to Newport News, Virginia. Bev Abbott began drawing as a child and is a self-taught artist. During the 1980s, she began showing, training and breeding Miniature Dachshunds. During this period she began to accept commissions to draw and paint purebred dogs. A few of these were released as limited edition prints. In 2001, she illustrated the book, Pawprints On My Heart, edited by Jean C. Keating.

In recent years, Mrs. Abbot has become a specialist in miniature paintings. Her paintings of animals, flowers, birds and seascapes have been seen at many major juried shows. She is one of only 69 Americans to become a “signature member” of the Miniature Artists of America and she is also a “signature member” of the Society of Animal Artists.

(1880 – 1950)

Born to a family of modest means, Reuben Ward Binks would go on to paint the dogs of the rich and royal. Binks had always loved dogs and it was only natural that he began to draw and paint them. His early work attracted the attention of Lorna, Countess of Howe. A passionate hunter, the Countess specialized in Labrador Retrievers and English Springer Spaniels. She was one of the founders of England’s Labrador Retriever Club and served as its third president. Her Banchory Labs dominated in the field trials of the day, winning many championships and she owned the first dual champion Labrador. The Countess was equally successful in the show ring. One of her Labs was Best in Show at Crufts in 1932 and ’33 and another went Best in 1937. She adored hunting with English Springers, too, and one of her dogs won 33 field trial stakes. In later years, she owned and showed Brussels Griffons and Pugs.

The Countess loved Binks’ work and hired the artist to paint all of her dogs. She encouraged him to specialize in sporting dogs. This association did wonders for Binks’ career. Soon, he was in demand from top breeders all across Britain. “Nearly all the prominent owners of England have given me commissions,” he stated in a 1931 interview.

The influence of the Countess, though, spread farther than just the dog world. Soon, Binks was commissioned to paint the dogs of royalty. He painted the dogs of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V. He painted the Cairn Terriers belonging to the then Prince of Wales, the Duke of York’s favorite Labrador Retriever and the Duke of Gloucester’s Fox Terrier. He was the preferred painter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, both passionate dog lovers and he was often invited to Sandringham, the royal country estate. There he painted many of the Clumber Spaniels, kept for hunting pheasants, the King’s Fox Terrier and the Queen’s Basset Hounds and Pomeranians.

Binks fame would spread beyond Britain. He made several trips to India to paint the dogs of prominent breeders there. His Highness the Maharajah Dhiraj of Patiala commissioned Binks to paint many of his dogs. He would spend eight months portraying the Maharajah’s English Springers, Labradors, Cockers and Westies.

During the 1930s, Binks made two trips to the United States. Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, the First Lady of American Dogdom, commissioned Binks to come to America and paint all the dogs in her kennels at Giralda Farms. (Click here to read about Binks at Giralda.) In 1931, the MacDonald Galleries hosted a show of Reuben Ward Binks work. More than 80 of his works were on display.

Reuben Ward Binks was a master at accurately painting show dogs and he gives us a glimpse into what dogs were like in his era. Indeed, some of Binks’ drawings are so true that they have almost a photographic quality, though it is softened by his use of watercolors. Binks occasionally painted in oils, but his preference was opaque and transparent watercolors. Most of his Giralda work was done in gouache on either paper or thin board.

Paintings by Reuben Ward Binks are prized by collectors. His British commissioned work shows up occasionally at auctions. Most of his American work depicts Mrs. Dodge’s Giralda dogs. There was also a series of prints, done in England, which are collectible, too. Many of Binks’ best paintings are found at the AKC’s Museum of the Dog.


Robert Christie is probably the most popular of the Southern contemporary sporting dog artists. Though he is now identified with the South, Christie was, in fact, born and raised in New York City. He considered becoming a veterinarian, but opted for art. He spent a year at Ohio Wesleyan University where he studied fine art, but then returned to New York and graduated with a degree in illustration from the Pratt Institute. He took additional classes in portraiture at both Pratt and The Art Students' League.

Things changed when Robert Christie married Beth, who hailed from Atlanta, Georgia. They decided to return to Beth's hometown. Robert began to raise and hunt with German Shorthaired Pointers and supported the family by painting portraits. Soon, clients wanted him to do paintings of their horses. A New York publisher offered Robert the opportunity to do a series of prints of hunting dogs and he jumped at the chance. Bob says that with this assignment he was "bitten by the dog." He's never looked back.

Since then Christie has been commissioned to do many paintings of dogs and lots of these have been reproduced as prints. He has won many awards for his artwork. Christie has done plates for both the Hamilton Collection and the Franklin Mint. He illustrated the 1997 book
Through Otis' Eyes: Lessons from a Guide Dog Puppy, by Patricia Kennedy, which won the prestigious Maxwell award offered by the Dog Writers' Association of America. He teamed up with Kennedy to illustrate her next book Bailey Bymyside: Golden Lessons for Life which was also nominated for the Maxwell.


Roger Cruwys grew up in the town of Wellsville, New York where he spent much of his free time hunting grouse and fishing for trout. He earned degrees in landscape architecture and urban planning at both Syracuse University and the University of California at Berkeley. A self-taught artist, Cruwys began to paint wildlife, fish, hunting dogs and the spectacular landscapes in the West. In 1978, he quit his job and took the plunge, deciding to devote himself to art. Cruwys earned some money as a guide and pilot along the way. Today, he lives in Bozeman, Montana and still travels throughout the West and Alaska with a camera and sketchpad in hand.
Like many other contemporary wildfowl and dog artists, Roger Cruwys made a name for himself by winning many of the state duck, waterfowl, angling and upland bird competitions. This led to invitations to major exhibitions and galleries who wanted to carry his work. His work has appeared in magazines, including
Fly Fisherman and Field and Stream.

(1887 - 1939)

Leon Danchin was born in Lille, France. His grandfather was a surgeon and a famous ornithologist who founded Lille's Museum of Natural History. His artistic ability was recognized at an early age and he was sent to attend the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts, in Paris. His early focus was on sculpting and he fashioned busts of many of Lille's noted citizens. In 1914, he was drafted into the infantry and was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

After the War, he continued sculpting busts and monuments, but turned his attention to the study of animals, mainly horses and dogs. In 1925, he bought a home in Bergues, in French Flanders. There he was able to hunt to his heart's content and concentrate on his oil and watercolor paintings. He is remembered fondly in Bergues as a jolly man who borrowed people's dogs so that he could draw them. While he later moved to Paris, he came back to Bergues often for vacations and so that he could hunt.

Varying estimates say that 100 or 200 of Danchin's paintings were released as a series of etchings and lithographs. These became wildly popular in France and soon secured Danchin an international reputation.

(1824 – 1905)

Little is really known about the English painter George Earl. A number of his oils have survived and most depict sporting breeds, though there are a few of terriers. It was his fascination with the early days of British field trials and the dogs and people who participated them that was to bring him fame. His painting, The Field Trial Meet, is considered one of the classics of dog art and a valuable source for those interested in field trials. It is Earl’s imaginary depiction of the greatest field trial of his day. The painting shows 80 people who have gathered for the momentous event, including prominent breeders, owners, trainers, judges, show folk and writers. There are 30 Pointers and Setters, fashioned after real dogs, both alive and deceased, arrayed over the fields.

Art seems to have been in the genes of the Earl family. George’s brother, Thomas, was a popular painter and many of his works were exhibited at the Royal Academy. His dog paintings are usually loving portraits of pets. George’s daughter, Maud Earl, is one of the most celebrated of dog artists. His son, Percy Earl, was also a painter.


Albert Fisher was a popular artist, graphic designer and illustrator during the 1920s to the 1940s. He did the covers for many magazines including a number of the detective and pulp fiction offerings. He also did many covers for celebrity magazines such as Photoplay and Silver Screen. He did a series of incredible drawings of swing era/jazz musicians and singers. Many of these were of African-American artists, including Lena Horne. Fisher also did signs, calendars and posters for a number of companies, including Coca Cola. Dogs were often featured, usually teamed with children, on his poster and calendar work.

(1886 – 1941)

William Harnden Foster is one of those artists who came to prominence during the “Golden Age of Illustration.” Born in Andover, Massachusetts, Foster demonstrated his talent at a young age. He attended classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, and then was personally selected from hundreds of applicants to attend Howard Pyle’s tuition free art school in Delaware. Pyle, who was the premier illustrator of the Golden Age, felt that traditional art schools did nothing to encourage future illustrators. He was to have an enormous impact on all his students and he served as a mentor for them. The list of students who studied under Pyle is impressive and includes Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, Philip Goodwin and many many more.

It was Pyle who would help land Foster his first paying job. Foster showed the teacher a series of paintings he had done illustrating a day in life on a train and Pyle suggested that Foster approach the magazine Scribner’s Monthly. Not only did they buy his train story, but they assigned him to cover the construction of the Panama Canal. Foster would go on to work for many publications of the time both as an artist and writer.

The Golden Age of Illustration ended with conclusion of World War I and Foster, like other illustrators, was forced to scramble to make a living. Like so many others, he turned to advertising work. He did calendars for a number of companies and his drawing of a moose graces the first ever L.L. Bean catalog. Foster loved hunting and bird dogs and he created two magazines: National Sportsman and Hunting and Fishing. He would serve as the editor for both. He served as President of the New England Field Trial Association and was a frequent judge of field trials. He devoted his spare time to painting top bird dogs. It was fitting, then, that he had a heart attack and died while judging a field trial. After his death, his son published the book his father had been working on, New England Grouse Shooting,, which featured Foster’s black and white drawings.

One final note about William Harnden Foster: Beginning in 1910, Foster, along with two other friends, created a variation on trapshooting that simulated actual hunting conditions. In 1925, Foster wrote about it in his magazine and encouraged others to try it for themselves. As part of a promotional campaign, he offered $100 to anyone who could come up with a name for the sport. A Montana rancher’s wife suggested “skeet.” The sport grew dramatically and Foster is now in the Skeet Hall of Fame.

(1934 - )

Since childhood, Louis Frisino has loved dogs and wildlife so, when he began to draw, it was only natural that they would be his models. Born deaf, Frisino attended the Maryland School for the Deaf and, later, the Maryland Institute College of Art. Upon graduation, he married, had three children and worked for 25 years as a commercial artist for the News American. He provided 45 illustrations for the 1970 edition of Fishing in Maryland, and won the 1976/77 Maryland Duck Stamp and the Maryland Trout Stamp contests in 1977 through 1979, the first three years the competitions were held. He also placed second in the contest held by the National Turkey Federation.

After Frisino retired, he was able to devote time to painting dogs and wildlife. He again won the Maryland Duck Stamp contest (1986/87 and 1993/94) as well as the Duck Stamp contests in New Jersey (1987), North Dakota (1988), North Carolina (1989), Alaska (1990) and West Virginia (1990). He won the first North Carolina Sportsman License Stamp contest (1987), the North Dakota Salmon and Trout Stamp (1988) and the Oregon Waterfowl Stamp (1991). He also won the Ward Foundation Championship Wildfowl Painting Competition in 1986, 1988 and 1991. He has done many paintings and prints of retrievers and other sporting dogs. Profiles of him are included in the books Who’s Who in Waterfowl Art and Deaf Heritage.


It isn’t often that a high school student enters the ranks of professional artists, but such is the case with Rachel Hansen. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, though, as she’s following in her family’s footsteps and is a sixth generation artist. This honor student has always used her talent creating T-shirts, invitations and programs for school activities, as well as designing the cover for her high school yearbook. She has won numerous first place awards in district art festivals and won the “People’s Choice” award at the Iowa State Fair. In 2009, she won the competition given by the conservation group, Pheasant’s Forever. A tract publishing company in Australia has also published her work.

(1756 – 1822)

Howitt was a member of England’s gentry. As an adult, he moved near Epping Forest where he indulged his passion for all types of hunting, for dogs and for natural history. He began to draw as a hobby.

When Howitt lost his fortune, his art provided a way of supporting himself. He took a job as a drawing master and, in 1783, exhibited a trio of paintings at the Society of British Artists. He continued to send his paintings to exhibitions where he gained a reputation for the accuracy of his depictions of dogs and hunting.

Howitt was probably the most important of the early dog illustrators. The 1798 second edition of Peter Beckford’s Thoughts on Hunting, the first English book on the subject, features 20 engraved plates by Howitt. In 1800, Howitt published British Sportsmen which included 72 engraved plates. This book includes etchings covering all manner of British field sports—hunting, coursing, shooting, hawking, fishing and racing. In 1804, he illustrated Sporting Anecdotes and, in 1808, the two volume Oriental Field Sports. In 1809, he wrote and illustrated A New Book of Animals, which included 100 colored etchings. He also contributed to The Sporting Magazine.

(1930 – 1980)

Leo Jansen was a successful artist who is known primarily for his celebrity portraits and his nudes. Born in 1930 in Holland, Jansen immigrated to the U.S. and soon attracted attention for his skill in painting portraits. Donald Sutherland, Raquel Welch, William Holden and Stephanie Powers are only a few of the celebrities who sat for him. By 1960, his fee for a portrait was $20,000. He was said to have turned down as many commissions as he accepted. When the Beatles came to the U.S., Jansen painted all their portraits.

Finally, Jansen gave up the big bucks and moved to California where he turned to painting nudes. Once again, his work quickly attracted attention. Playboy commissioned him to paint their Playmates of the Month and he did 58 portraits for them. These now hang in the Playboy Mansion and corporate headquarters.

Jansen clearly loved dogs and, over the years, painted a number of portraits featuring purebreds. He did a few cat paintings, too. After his death, in 1980, his estate sold the right to the dog paintings to Kern Collectibles and they issued limited edition prints as well as a series of collector plates bearing the images.

(1898 - ?)

Little is known about the artist Ole Larsen. He was born in Michigan in 1898 and from 1916 to 1921 he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. In 1922, he is listed as an instructor at the Chicago Art Institute. He is best known for his paintings of horses and dogs. He provided the illustrations for the two 1941 books by Robert Briggs Logan, the Blue Book of Dogs and the Red Book of Dogs.During the 1940s, he illustrated several commercial calendars. In the 1940s and ‘50s, several of his paintings were reproduced as prints. In the 1950s, several of his sporting dog prints were transferred onto metal trays.


Little is known about Grace Lopez. In the 1950s, she did a series of paintings of dogs and puppies and cats and kittens. These were utterly charming and demonstrated that Lopez had a deft touch for portraying animals. These were released as a series of prints by the Arthur A. Kaplan Company and were distributed to Woolworth's and other chains. They proved extremely popular with ‘50s buyers. There seems to be a resurgence of interest in collecting these prints. Sadly, Lopez does not seem to have done any additional work with dogs or cats.

(1883 – 1958)

Click here to see Dogcrazy Newsletter #17, “Edwin Megargee, Jr…And the One That Got Away,” a three page article with lots of images of his artwork.

(1950 - )

As a child, Gregory Messier accompanied his father on hunting and fishing trips and developed a strong interest in wildlife. He decided on a career in art when he was still in high school and, upon graduation, studied commercial art at a community college. He began to paint wildlife and hunting dogs and got his big break in 1981 when he had a one-man show at the Crossroads of Sports Gallery, in New York City. He was commissioned to paint for Field and Stream and Outdoor Life and received many commissions. Messier’s paintings and prints can be found in many private and corporate collections. He has sold paintings to former President Ronald Regan and to Prince Bernhardt of Denmark.

(1895 – 1977)

Kurt Meyer-Eberhardt trained at the Weimar Academy of Fine Arts and, in 1918, he was offered a chance to become a professor at the school. Instead, he packed his bags for Munich and decided to specialize in engravings of animals. For the next several years, he worked at a frantic pace, turning out remarkable copper etchings depicting dogs and other animals. Meyer-Eberhardt proved remarkably adept at portraying the characteristics of each breed and, like the very best of artists, he managed to capture the personality of his subject. It is apparent to anyone who views his work, that Meyer-Eberhardt was a dog lover. Original Meyer-Eberhardt copper etchings are pencil signed and do not bear the name of the piece.

Kurt Meyer-Eberhardt retired in about 1926. After his retirement, the studio that had originally produced his etchings continued to make prints from Meyer-Eberhardt’s original copper plates. These later plates bear the artist’s printed signature and include a title. Both the original etchings and the later prints are collectibles.

(1847 – 1927)

Britain flourished during the Victorian era. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were raising their children and the British public loved seeing the paintings of the happy family. It wasn’t surprising that a genre of sentimental paintings depicting happy children, along with their dogs and cats, became incredibly popular. One of the masters of this genre was Frederick Morgan.

Born in 1847, in London, Frederick was the son of Paris-trained artist John Morgan, a member of the Society of British Artists, who regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. John was determined that his son would be an artist, too, and when Frederick was 14, he took him out of school and began training him. Frederick looked to be a prodigy. At 16, he sent a painting to the Royal Academy and it was accepted and hung in the gallery for all to see.

Maybe success came too quickly or perhaps Frederick felt estranged from other teens, but he seemed to lose heart. By the time he was 19, his father told him to find another profession, gave him five pounds and kicked him out of the house. Unable to find any other work, he returned home, begging to be allowed to try again.

Frederick went to work for a photographic studio. As a sidelight to the photos they sold, the firm offered clients painted family portraits. Morgan credits this experience with teaching him attention to detail. Soon, he was offering his services to other photographic studios. In his spare time, he began to paint on his own. Most of his paintings depicted idealized scenes of childhood.

Morgan’s big break came in 1874 when Messers Agnew and Sons bought his paintings and turned them into lithographs to be sold to the general public. People went wild for his work and his popularity skyrocketed. A magazine that was able to include a Morgan image on its cover or in its pages was almost assured to sell out. Frederick Morgan was also honest enough about his work to realize that he couldn’t paint dogs and cats with the skill needed. So, he hired other artists to add the animals to his canvases.

Queen Alexandra, Her Grandchildren and Dogs is probably Morgan’s most famous work. The Queen is depicted outside the kennels at the country home of Sandringham with her three oldest grandchildren, surrounded by her dogs. Apparently, even the Royal family was not immune to the charms of Frederick Morgan’s paintings. The Queen personally commissioned this painting and it was probably she who decided that Thomas Blinks should paint the dogs.

(1858 – 1927)

Gustav Muss Arnolt was born in Germany and came to the U.S when he as 32. He was actively involved in all aspects of the dog world, including the workings of the early American Kennel Club. He sat on the Board of Directors of the AKC from 1906 until 1909. He bred, trained and hunted with Pointers and exhibited them at leading shows, including Westminster. He also owned and promoted German Mastiffs, as Great Danes were known at the time. He was one of the founders of the Great Dane Club of America and was the Club’s first delegate to the AKC. He was one of our earliest all-breed judges and presided at shows all across the U.S. Back in his day, Best in Show awards were decided by a three person panel. Muss-Arnolt was on the panel that decided Best in Show at Westminster in 1913 and 1922. He was also invited to judge in England and Germany.

Shortly after he arrived in this country, Muss-Arnolt wrote several articles for Harper’s Weekly. These included drawings and photos taken by him. His interest in Pointers, English Setters, hunting and field trials, along with his involvement with the AKC, gave him access to many wealthy sportsmen. He received many commissions to paint their dogs.

Gustav Muss-Arnolt also enjoyed great commercial success. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the DuPont Company was looking for a way to promote their smokeless gunpowder. They decided to produce calendars and commissioned several artists, including Muss-Arnolt to produce colorful paintings featuring Pointers and English Setters. These were also produced as prints by the American Lithograph Corporation. Muss-Arnolt’s painting, Steady, appeared on a DuPont calendar in 1900. These calendars and prints can bring $200-400 today and, at one auction, one of these DuPont calendars fetched over $2,000. Muss-Arnolt also did calendar work for the Peters Cartridge Company and for Arm & Hammer.

Muss-Arnolt did much to ensure the early success of the American Kennel Gazette. Early issues of the magazine include no illustrations but, in an effort to popularize the magazine, it was decided to include a separate drawing in each issue as a special supplement. Muss-Arnolt’s series of illustrations began with the May 1895 issue and continued until December of 1909. In all, he drew 191 plates of prominent dogs which were included in the Gazette.The AKC offered these plates for separate sale to the public for ten cents. These have, of course become very collectible, too, and usually sell in the $50-100 range.

(1853 – 1928)

Edmund Osthaus was one of several incredibly popular artists who, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, specialized in portraying sporting dogs. He also lived a charmed lifestyle where he was able to indulge his twin passions of art and hunting.

Born in Germany, Osthaus studied art in Dusseldorf. His father and mother emigrated to Toledo, Ohio and he joined them in 1883. In 1886, Osthaus was invited to head up the newly created Toledo Academy of Fine Arts. He also joined a group of artists named The Tile Club who made plans for the Toledo Museum of Art. Sadly, the school closed in 1893.

As soon as Osthaus arrived in this country, he plunged into the world of dogs, hunting, shows and field trials. He partnered with J.E. Dager to open the Maumee Kennels and together they would run their dogs in field trials in the Northeast and Midwest and enter them in conformation shows, including Westminster. Records show that in 1892, they were campaigning Ch. Cincinnatus under their kennel name (though other records indicate he was owned by Bryson). This dog was a son of Count Nobel and sired Dual Ch. Cincinnatus Pride. Osthaus would paint both dogs and their images would be used on calendars, prints, and many advertising pieces. The kennel also owned Ch. Toledo Blade, a won of Roderigo and grandson of both Count Nobel and Gladstone.

Osthaus was one of the charter members of the National Field Trial Association, founded in 1895. He also began to judge field trials and, every year from 1896 until 1910, he painted the winner of the National. (These would later be reproduced as lithographs.) Many wealthy sportsman ran their dogs in trials and Osthaus’ paintings quickly became popular. One of the key reasons for his success was that Osthaus painted what can charitably called “improved” images of the dogs. While he was scrupulously accurate when it came to markings, snipey heads disappeared, weedy dogs were transformed into substantial ones and setter coats were more luxurious.

In 1890, the DuPont Company was seeking to promote their new “smokeless” gunpowder. They commissioned Edmund Osthaus to create paintings of hunting dogs to be used in their advertisements. For the next 20 years, Osthaus’ dogs would grace calendars, prints, signs, postcards, trays, etc. While before he his work had been popular among the wealthy, his art was now available to the general public. Later, Osthaus sold the right to reprint his woråk to many other companies.

The success that Osthaus experienced, allowed him to live the ideal live for someone who loved dogs and hunting. Each fall, he would head to Canada, where field trial trainers traditionally began their young dogs. He brought his own dogs along to train himself. Later in the season, he would follow the trainers to the Midwest and the Southwest. Winters would conclude in Florida, where Osthaus had his own lodge. Here he was free to hunt bobwhite quail daily. He died there in 1928.

(1884 - 1954)

Palenske was born in Chicago and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. He had a fascination with horses and the West. His first jobs were as newspaper illustrators and his work appeared in The Spur, Washington Star and the Chicago Daily News. In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting and riding and was one of the founders of a group known as the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies.

Palenske was a highly successful commercial artist and his forté was etching. He worked primarily with Brown and Bigelow, a company that produced advertising art such as decks of cards and calendars. A popular item for the company were etchings (individually and in portfolios) which companies could buy to send out as Christmas presents. The earliest were black and white etchings, but later the company printed them in a process that they called "Talio-Chrome." Dogs are included in a number of Palenske etchings.

In 1944, Palenske received the coveted etcher of the year award given by the Chicago Society of Etchers. His etchings can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library and the Royal Gallery of London. On a visit here, the Duke of Kent was impressed with Palenske's work and purchased several etchings to take back to England.


Born June 5, 1938, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Thomas Quinn displayed a talent for art at an early age. A graduate of the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, he began his career as an illustrator and moved to New York City. A life threatening bout with liver disease caused him to reevaluate his goals. He moved to Marin County, California and began to focus on painting the plants and wildlife about him. A number of honors followed. In 1998, he was declared Master Wildlife Artist of the Year by the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. He won a Gold Medal for Watercolor from the National Museum of Wildlife Art and, in 2009, was the recipient of their prestigious Red Smith Award.

Thomas Quinn has done a number of dog paintings and is best known for his work with retrievers. It is immediately apparent that there is a difference between Quinn's work and other sporting artists. While most painters in his genre prefer to depict their subjects in intricate naturalistic settings, Quinn has been heavily influenced by Japanese and Chinese art and likes to include negative space. A magazine article dubbed him: "Mighty Quinn, the Samurai of Watercolor."

In addition to his exhibits at art galleries and museums (which include a one-man show at the Frederic Remington Art Museum), Quinn has authored and illustrated
The Working Retrievers and The Art of Thomas Quinn.

(1898 – 1975)

Boris Riab was one of France’s most accomplished painter of sporting dogs, waterfowl and gamebirds. Boris Riabouchinsky was born into a prosperous Moscow family. He attended a number of prestigious Russian art schools and, in his spare time, indulged his passion for hunting. In 1917, at the start of the Russian Revolution, the Riabouchinsky family fled the country. Boris spent the next decade traveling throughout Europe and hunting to his heart’s content. Everywhere he went he took his sketchpad with him.

Finally, in 1927, he settled in France and changed his name to Riab. He was accepted into art circles in Paris and soon settled in St. Vincent du Lorouer, in Sarthe, where he became acquainted with many hunters. Over the next years, he met many of France’s most prominent breeders of sporting dogs. Working mostly in watercolor, he began to paint a remarkable series of paintings featuring the sporting breeds. These were released as a series of lithographs by the Paris firm of Ducker et Cie. In recent years, others have reprinted these original lithographs. The book Riab, Aquarelliste Animalier features more than 300 of his works, but is only available in French.


Ripley is considered one of the most outstanding sporting artists of the 20th century. He was born December 31, 1896 in Wakefield, Massachusetts and began his studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Upon graduating, he won the coveted Paige Traveling Fellowship that provided money for a two year stint in Europe studying painting. Since Ripley had just married, this proved to be a wonderful honeymoon for he and his wife, Doris. He returned from Europe in 1925 and had his first one-man show, in 1926. The quality of his work shocked the Boston movers and shakers in the art world. “The flash from obscurity to fame has come the past week to Aiden L. Ripley, a young Boston painter, has given an unusual thrill to the artists and connoisseurs of this city,” declared the writer for the
Boston Globe. “In a week he was transformed from an art student to a painter of rank with the foremost of the day in watercolors and his works are being purchased not only by connoisseurs, but by some of the foremost artists in Boston—the people who know.” Another show in 1927 earned him even more honors. In 1927, the Ripleys left for a Scandanavian vacation.

Though Ripley’s first successes were with scenes around Boston and other locales, he soon earned praise for his talent at portraying wildlife, hunting and dogs. During the 1930s and 1940s, he illustrated a number of books for the Derrydale Press and a number of his paintings were produced as prints. Books and prints by Ripley are very collectible. In 1942, Ripley won the Federal Duck Stamp competition. He died August 29, 1969, in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

(1873 – 1946)

Born in Scotland, Gordon Ross was already a successful artist before he emigrated to America and settled in New Jersey and, later, New York. He was one of those illustrators who prospered during the Golden Age of Illustration. His illustrations appeared in newspapers and magazines and he did many magazine covers. He was much in demand as a book illustrator. Ross did a number of volumes for The Limited Editions Club, including works by Shakespeare and Dickens. He was highly regarded by Eugene Connett, owner of the Derrydale Press and was Connett’s choice to illustrate several of the volumes produced for The Angler’s Club. He earned high praise for his foxhunting portraits and illustrations. He did many Derrydale works, including illustrating a number of the books by Surtees, Hounds and Hunting Through the Ages, by Joseph B. Thomas and John Gay’s Rural Sports. The early 1900s book collector, A. Edward Newton paid tribute to Ross: “No one now living in Great Britain and doing work in his line can compare with Gordon Ross, now living in New York. He has no living superior; I doubt if he has his equal for he very quality needed to illustrate a humorous classic.”


Scot Storm is one of the most exciting of the crop of contemporary wildlife and sporting dog artists. An avid hunter and outdoorsman, the Minnesota artist didn’t set out to become a painter. He attended North Dakota State University where he was awarded a degree in architecture. In his spare time, the self-taught artist began to paint. In 1987, he entered one of his pieces in the Minnesota Duck Stamp contest and won second place. This inspired him and he decided that he would concentrate on producing paintings that he could enter in the various stamp contests. Judged purely on the piece entered, these stamp contests gave talented amateurs, like Storm, the opportunity to compete against seasoned professionals. In 1991, he won first place in the Indiana Pheasant Habitat Stamp competition. More wins followed and, in 1999, Scot Storm retired as an architect and took up painting fulltime.

In 2004, Scot painted a pair of redhead ducks, silhouetted against a pastel sky, flying over Hay Bale Slough, near York, North Dakota. The spot had long been a favorite family duck hunting site. This painting was selected for the prestigious 2004-2005 Federal Duck Stamp, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Proceeds from the sale of the duck stamps have been used to purchase thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat. Scot was invited to Washington for the unveiling of the stamp.

Scot Storm has continued to enter and win many contests. He has placed second and third in subsequent Federal Duck Stamp competitions. In recent years, Storm has begun to paint sporting dogs and has shown an amazing touch in capturing these dogs. He has found a following among those who collect dog prints and artwor


Tait was born in Liverpool, the son of a maritime merchant. When he was just eight years old, Tait’s father went bankrupt and he was sent to live with relatives who owned a farm in Lancaster. Here he was introduced to hunting and fishing and became keenly interested in animals. When Tait was 12 years old, he was apprenticed to the Manchester firm of Agnew & Zanetti to sell art works while learning the art of lithography. Tait taught himself to paint at the Royal Institute by copying the works of Sir Edwin Landseer who would have an enduring influence on Tait’s work. He also produced architectural drawings and the precise detail demanded for these would be seen in his later work.

Tait’s life would change dramatically in the late 1840s when he met American artist George Catlin who was touring Europe with stops in London and Paris. His paintings of the American frontier created a sensation. Tait became convinced that his future lay in America and, in 1850, he and his wife, Marian, arrived in New York City.

For the rest of his life, Tait was associated with the New York art scene. He began to exhibit his work in the annual exhibitions held by The National Academy of Design (formerly the New York Drawing Association) and, by 1854, was elected as an Associate. In 1858, he was elected to Full Membership. Over the years, he would exhibit more than 200 paintings. During the summer months, many New Yorkers escaped the heat of the City. For the next 30 years, Tait spent his summers in the Adirondacks where he had a studio. It was a gathering place for sportsmen and artists. Here Tait and his friends could hunt and fish to their hearts’ content and then drink and discuss art. Later, he would own a farm in Westchester and, later still, a home in Yonkers.

Starting in 1852, Tait was commissioned by the fledgling firm of Currier and Ives to do a number of paintings suitable for lithographs. A number of these Tait works featured hunting dogs, particularly the
American Field Sports series. Tait worked for Currier and Ives for a dozen years and produced 42 works for the firm. Currier and Ives prints became incredibly popular and Tait’s name became well known. Most artists were paid between $1 and $10 for their work and Tait is believed to have commanded the higher prices. It is also thought that he sold only reproduction rights and kept or sold the original paintings. The Currier and Ives prints ranged in size from very small (2.8 x 4.8 inches) to large colored folio prints (18 x 27 inches) and sold for between a nickel to $3.00. In 1865, Tait had a dispute with Currier and Ives and quit working for the firm. He felt that the cheap prints were harming the sales of his paintings, that the firm had made prints without his permission and that the Currier and Ives name was larger than his own.

Tait would retire to a farm in Westchester where he began to paint domestic and barnyard animals. There were series of chickens and a huge series comprising 200 deer. Even though he never made it farther west then Chicago, he harkened back to those George Catlin images and began to paint the American West. In 2007, one of these would sell for $2,841,000 at Christie’s.


Wisconsin resident Janet L. Wissman didn't start out to be an artist. It wasn't until she attended college at the University of Chicago at Champaign-Urbana that her artistic talent began to bloom. While studying for a degree in biology, Wissman took a class in zoology which landed her a job at the Illinois Natural History Survey. A part of the job entailed photography and Wissman discovered that she was a natural at nature photography. Soon, she was accepting paying assignments.

A college class in painting, followed by a class in botanical illustration at Chicago's acclaimed Field Museum of History, inspired Wissman to launch a career in painting. A long time fan of the Bernese Mountain Dog, Wissman's first paintings were of her own Berners. Soon, other Berner owners were asking for copies of her work and she began to release prints and take on commissions. Naturally, she began to make portraits of other breeds, showing a keen awareness of the standards and personalities of each breed. In addition to dogs, Wissman also paints cats, horses, wolves and birds. Along the way, Wissman developed her own unique style of painting with transparent watercolors. She uses a number of layers which give her work a richness and depth of color.


George Wright was born near Leeds to a family of modest circumstances and would make a name for himself as a sporting artist. His father was a cashier and carpet factory manager. George’s sister, Louise Wright, was considered an influential name in fashion art. Some of George Wright’s first professional work was collaborating with his brother Gilbert Scott Wright to illustrate calendars and catalogs. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1892 and showed a total of 16 paintings between 1892 and 1904.
An avid foxhunter, Wright hunted with the Old Burstow and Surry hunts. He has become best remembered for his paintings of horses, foxhunting, polo, coaching and hounds. He is often complimented for the action shown in his work.

In 1925, he accepted a commission from Ackermann’s, a London publishing house and art dealer. His paintings were shown at their galleries and they produced a number of his works as steel and copper etchings. Some of these engravings were black and white and others were hand colored. This work earned him a name as one of the best sporting artists in England. The plates have survived and been used to produce restrikes of George Wright’s most noted work.

(1882 – 1945)

Born in Needham, Massachusetts, Wyeth began drawing at an early age. When he was a teen, his mother took some of his drawings to Boston to be evaluated and see if he was a candidate for specialized art classes. He was sent to the Mechanic Arts School and later the Massachusetts Normal Arts School, in Boston. One of his teachers was the successful artist and illustrator, Howard Pyle. Pyle opened a small, tuition-free art school with hand-selected students in Wilmington, Delaware and Wyeth was invited to attend. Pyle was to have a tremendous influence on young N.C.’s work.

N.C. Wyeth burst upon the scene in what was called the “Golden Age of Illustration.” His first published work was “Bronco Buster,” which landed on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, on February 21, 1903. He would go on to provide illustrations for Harper’s Weekly, Scribner’s, Century, and such children’s publications as Youth’s Companion.

At the end of World War I, the Golden Age died, leaving many artists in the lurch. Wyeth was able to make the transition. He illustrated a great number of successful children’s books. During the 1930s and 1940s, he did many calendars for Hercules Powder Company and the meat packing firm of John Morrell and Company. Today, these calendars are highly collectible and Wyeth’s paintings sell for high prices.

He settled in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania where he built a home and studio. His son, Andrew Wyeth and Andrew’s son, Jaime Wyeth, have become successful painters, too.