National Sporting Library and Museum hosts packed opening and inaugural exhibition.
By Tyler Sullivan
The National Sporting Library and Museum (NSLM) drew a record crowd recently, welcoming over 300 guests to their community open house and inaugural exhibition.
Founded in 1954, the NSLM is devoted to preserving, sharing and promoting the literature, art and culture of equestrian and field sports. Now a library, research facility and art museum, NSLM contains over 17,000 books and works of art in its collections.
The opening exhibition, entitled Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal and Sporting Art, was curated by F. Turner Reuter, Jr., Middleburg native and NSLM board member. His daughter, Hannah Reuter, assisted in the presentation and curation for the evening.
Despite the rain, guests gathered in Middleburg, VA, full of excitement and fascination. Refreshments were offered in the Library, along with an exclusive viewing of In the Blacksmith Shop, an exhibit featuring rare books, horse shoes and blacksmith tools. Based on historic prints on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibit was to show the proud history of the farrier at work.
Among the featured works for the evening was an 1850 William Tylee Ranney painting, On the Wing, as well as horse shoes of world-renown steeds such as Animal Kingdom, Man O’War, Gallahadion and Hirapour.
“We’re extremely grateful to our contributors and proud to provide access to international scholars and the public to learn about American field sports,” said Chairman of the Board Manuel H. Johnson.
NSLM volunteer and docent Jeri Coulter exclaimed the night, “a real treasure!” representing the many that left with satisfactory glows.