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May 4, 2017 Updated May 5, 2017

"Off To The Races"

New Exhibition To Open At Gratz Gallery And Conservation Studio

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“Off to the Races” is an exhibition featuring over 40 recently discovered equestrian paintings from one of the largest private sporting art collections in the country. The paintings in “Off to the Races” depict many different equestrian scenes and events in sizes ranging from 10-by-13 inches to 40-by-50 inches. All are completed with beautiful handcrafted frames to complement each work of art. The exhibition can also be viewed on the Gratz Gallery website at www.gratzgallery.com, and a color brochure is available upon request. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, May 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery, located at 5230 Silo Hill Road, Doylestown, Pa.
This upcoming exhibition is a celebration of America’s love for horses and horse racing. The gallery is presenting this show during a time when equestrian enthusiasts are gearing up for the highly anticipated Kentucky Derby, Radnor Hunt, Winterthur Steeplechase, and the Devon Horse show. America’s love for horses and horse racing has existed since the founding of the nation and continues today. The exhibition will feature some the best early works of Peter Howell (b. 1932), Thomas Sherwood La Fontaine (b. 1915), and a variety of other artists and period equestrian art.
Peter Howell was born in Caernarvon, North Wales, in 1932 and was involved in horse racing well before developing his path as an artist. He translated his love for horses and horse racing into his painting and captured the beauty and action of all aspects of the equestrian world. Howell has a unique impressionist style with a talent to display colors and moods. The images vividly depict the action of the track, flats and steeple chase events. He lends a modern approach to equestrian painting that is fresh and exciting and can be observed in works such as “Clearing the Jump,” “Steeple Chase,” and “The Turn From Swinley.”
Thomas Sherwood La Fontaine was born in Smyrna, Turkey, in 1915 and served in the military in Great Britain. He was known for his sporting art that included fox hunting, polo, and racing scenes. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in the 1940s and ’50s and was well known for his commissioned paintings of notable race horses and their owners. He lived in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England, and divided his time between England and the United States. La Fontaine’s work is well known in equestrian circles, and his work was greatly influenced by Sir Alfred Munnings. An important example in the exhibition is “Policeman,” a French thoroughbred that won the Prix du Jockey Club at 54 to 1 odds.
Also included in the exhibition is a quality work by William Webb, titled “Thomas Hargreaves Esq. with Holcombe Harriers,” which is a 28-by-36-inch oil-on-canvas fox hunting scene done in a traditional style.
Located at 5230 Silo Hill Road in Doylestown, Pa., the Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, with a focus on painters from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Gratz Gallery also offers custom framing and fine art conservation services. The gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m., as well as by appointment.
To learn more, call Paul Gratz at 215-348-2500.