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. The exhibition is on view from June 18th through September 18th, 2011 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Works in the exhibition range from pencil sketches which record the artists 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 Britains greatest sporting artists.
Paul Mellon was an American philanthropist, thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder. He is one of only five people ever designated an "Exemplar of Racing" by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He was co-heir to one of America's greatest business fortunes, the Mellon Bank fortune, created by his grandfather Thomas Mellon, his father Andrew W. Mellon, and his father's brother Richard B. Mellon. In 1957, when Fortune prepared its first list of the wealthiest Americans, it estimated that Paul Mellon, his sister Ailsa Mellon-Bruce, and his cousins Sarah Mellon and Richard King Mellon, were all amongst the richest eight people in the United States, with fortunes of between 400 and 700 million dollars each (around $3,100,000,000 and $5,500,000,000 in today dollars).
With information from wikipedia.org