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 Gustav Muss-Arnolt  (1858 - 1927)

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Lived/Active: New York/Massachusetts / Germany      Known for: sporting art, gun dogs, horses and wildfowl painting

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Ad Code: 3
Gustave Muss-Arnolt
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Red Fox Fine Art:
Excerpt from Animal and Sporting Artists in America by F. Turner Reuter, Jr. 2008:

Muss-Arnolt was born in Tuckahoe, NY, in 1858. He spent most of his professional life in New York City and Tuckahoe, although little is known of his professional training. He was a noted painter of sporting and gun dogs, although he executed compositions of various other canine breeds. He also painted waterfowl, upland game and other animal subjects including horses.

A noted example of his equestrian work was his 1885 foxhunting portrait The Meadow Brook Hounds Meet at the Old Westbury Pond on Long Island, NY commissioned by Augustus Belmont, Jr., M.F.H. The composition includes master huntsman and staff, a pack of fifteen couple, and the field; in all, more than twenty-eight horses with ladies in side saddle habit and two horse-drawn vehicles, a drag and a trap. This painting was reproduced as a colored lithograph printed with a key naming all riders and horses at the meet, including Theodore Roosevelt.

Muss-Arnolt's picture of a pointer was reproduced as an illustration in Part V of Dwight W. Huntington's book In Brush, Sedge and Stubble: A Picture Book of the Shooting-fields and Feathered Game of North America published in 1898 by The Sportsman's Society. Muss-Arnolt also wrote and illustrated a series of articles about canines, dog shows, and kennels for Harper's Weekly. Known for his expertise in matters relating to dogs, he was a respected show dog judge in the United States, England, and Germany. He served as a director of the American Kennel Club in New York City from 1906 to 1909. He was also involved with the Pointer Club of America, the Great Dane Club of America, and the American Dachshund Club.

Muss-Arnolt exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City, showing Waiting in 1880, Siesta and Three Old Bachelors in 1881, A Royal Pair in 1886, Hard Pressed: Beagles Chasing a Rabbit in 1887 and Steady, Boys!: Quail Shooting in North Carolina in 1894.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventory of American Paintings lists a number of his works, among them Thoroughbred, Setters on a Point, and German Shepherd. The Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY, has his Playfair and Judge, a pair of foxhound portraits, and his Major W. A. Wadsworth, M.F.H., and the Genesee Valley Hounds, all commissioned in 1890 by Major Wadsworth.

The National Sporting Library in Middleburg, VA, has his set of eight original sketches for the Meadow Brook Hounds of 1885. His work is also in the collection of the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, MO. His Steady, Now... is in the Eleutherian Mills Historical Library in Wilmington, DE.

Muss-Arnolt died in Avon, MA, on 9 February 1927.

Biography from Hawthorn Galleries Inc.:
Gustav Muss Arnolt was one of a small group of American painters, among them Percival Rosseau and Edmund Osthaus, who specialized in the depiction of sporting dogs.  Born in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, these artists captured the excitement of dogs in the field, catering to a newly wealthy group of sportsmen who actively collected their work.

Muss-Arnolt was born in Germany in 1858, but emigrated to America when he was about thirty-two, lived and worked in New York City and Tuckahoe, NY, where he made his home from about 1894 until his death in 1927.  In the early 1800's he wrote and illustrated several articles for Harper's Weekly, and between May of 1895 and December of 1909, he drew over 170 illustrations for The American Kennel Club Gazette.  Between 1880 and 1894, Muss- Arnolt was also a frequent contributor to The National Academy of Design annual exhibitions. He also knew dogs, for he was an "all-rounder" judge, being licensed to judge all breeds in conformation dog shows.

Muss-Arnolt was very active in the dog world, not only as an artist, but also as a well-known dog show judge all over the United States, England and in his native Germany.  He was on the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club between 1906 and 1909.  He was also active in the art world of New York City, exhibiting paintings at The National Academy of Design in 1880, 1881, 1886, 1887 and 1894.

In spite of the relatively little that is known about his life, his paintings remain as testament to his talent and love of dogs.  His paintings depict the action and tension of dogs in the field, as well the precise conformation of champion show dogs.  The dogs are faithfully rendered, their expression, anatomy, coat texture and color fully expressed in the finished painting.  He is known for a rich, somber palette, often using umber tones to describe an autumn landscape.  Although best known for his paintings of Setters and Pointers in the field, he also painted many different breeds.

Muss-Arnolt works are in many public and private collections, including The American Kennel Club, The AKC Museum of The Dog and The Genessee Country Sporting Museum.

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