We went to The Kennel Club to go on a tour of their art collection. We met Luisa who took us to the Gallery And when we entered the room, we were overwhelmed by the number of art in all forms – the subject was dogs, of course. Some of these pieces, like this large Borzoi painting –was bequeathed to the Kennel Club in the 1950s by Kathleen, Duchess of Newcastle.
The Duchess had owned Borzoi since 1890 and in 1892 she bought a Borzoi from the Russian Tsar. She went on to establish one of the greatest Borzoi kennels in the UK. The dogs in this painting are called Ch Tsaretsa, Ch Milka and Ch Vikhra. The painting was completed by John Emms in 1896 and is the largest within the Kennel Club’s collection.The portrait of The Queen is entitled Her Majesty The Queen at Frogmore with her Dogs. It was painted by Sir Terence Cuneo in 1974.
There was also an exhibition on Canine Trailblazers: Dogs in Exploration on the other side of the gallery but we couldn’t take any pictures there. The exhibition shows the involvement and the contribution of dogs in some of the most famous explorations of the last three centuries – from the first voyage of Captain James Cook (1768-1771) to the canine Soviet cosmonauts in the 1950s. It also told the story of David Livingston’s white Bull Terrier, Mabel that accompanied his body back to Britain in 1873.
Oh, and there were also two cabinets full of porcelain and bone China doggies!
After the gallery, we went to heck out the library
There were lots and lots of books about dogs Even a children’s section And that’s where Mummy found The Great Dog Bottom Swap book and laughed out loud as she read it to me. And in the nearby office there was little LouisHe comes to The Kennel Club quite often with his owner who is a memberShe was keen to meet another furry being.
As we left The Kennel Club, Mummy had an idea. She said she will bequeath her collection of dog portraits and dog sculptures, toys and her library of dog books to The Kennel Club! Really? Do you think they’ll have enough wall space to hang them all. Besides what are they going to say – dog portraits from a London dog-crazy lady?
May’s comment: The Kennel Club is a private members club but the public can visit the gallery by appointment. 1-5 Clarges Street, London