Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) Opens Scraps: British Sporting Drawings from the Paul Mellon Collection

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) presents Scraps: British Sporting Drawings from the Paul Mellon Collection, on view June 18 – September 18, 2011.

Taking its title from a series of drawings and prints by Henry Alken depicting sketches of country life, Scraps: British Sporting Drawings from the Paul Mellon Collection features drawings and watercolors that showcase the passing moments of observation that comprise the rich world of British Sporting Art.

Thomas Miles Richardson, Jr., English, 1813–1890. Study of a Horse and Cart. Pencil and watercolor with gouache and body color on grey wove paper. The Paul Mellon Collection. Photo: Rosemary Smith © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Works in the exhibition range from pencil sketches which record the artist’s direct observation of animal subjects to more highly finished works which present a more fully developed vision of sport and country life. The exhibition offers a broader view of artists well known for their sporting paintings and prints such as Henry Alken, James Seymour, Sawrey Gilpin, Edwin Landseer, James Ward and Thomas Rowlandson and reveals them to be skilled draftsmen as well as keen observers of the natural world and the realm of sport. Drawn entirely from the extensive holdings of works on paper in the Mellon Collection at VMFA, this exhibition offers a rare look into the working methods and personal vision of Britain’s greatest sporting artists.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
With a collection of art that spans the globe and more than 5,000 years, plus a wide array of special exhibitions, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is recognized as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. The museum’s permanent collection encompasses more than 23,000 works of art, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside Russia and one of the nation’s finest collections of American Art, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. VMFA is home to acclaimed collections of English Silver and Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British Sporting and Modern & Contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its 75-year history. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus fun after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. General admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit

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