The William Secord Gallery located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is one of the premiere animal art galleries of its kind in North America. The gallery specializes in antique nineteenth century dog and animal paintings, works on paper, bronzes and books. Famed artisans such as Richard Ansdell, Rosa Boneur, Sir Alfred Munnings, Alexander Pope and many others, have had canine inspired creations housed at the gallery.
The animal-friendly gallery was established by William Secord, the founding director of The Dog Museum of America and author of several books and articles on the subject of dogs. It has become a frequented destination for those interested in dog art and animal collectibles. Currently the gallery has branched out to the contemporary market. “Up until recently,” William Secord states, “it was almost impossible to find an artist who was capable of capturing on canvas the true nature of our pets.” This is no longer the case. The gallery now represents the work of three living artists who are modern masters of the genre: Christine Merrill, Constance Payne and Charlotte Sorré.
The William Secord Gallery is hosting the second American exhibition of the renowned animal artist, Marguerite Kirmse, an earlier 20th century American artist who depicted many purebred dogs. The exhibition will contain seventy-five different etchings, twenty original signed drawings and paintings, considered the most comprehensive collection of her work thus far in America.
Marguerite Kirmse was born in Bournemouth, England in 1885 and very early in her childhood developed a strong love of the arts and particularly music. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she finely tuned her harp playing. Kirmse soon discovered that she had a combined love of animals and drawing that she vigorously pursued. Under the guidance of her teacher Frank Calderon she stylized her drawing technique and spent many an afternoon at the London Zoo, sketching the different species of animals.
Eventually Kirmse relocated to New York City where she continued the practice of drawing animals at the Bronx Zoo. She became well-known for her unique way of visually capturing the individual personalities of all breeds of dogs, including their charm and humor through pencil drawings, etchings, paintings and busts. Kirmse had a particular fondness for Scottish Terriers, and besides owning several terriers herself, she also co-owned Tobermory Kennels with fellow animal artist Edwin Magaree.
The American Magazine of 1929 quotes Kirmse as saying, “Sometimes I will be working in the garden and one of my puppies will assume an amusing position or I may wake up in the middle of the night with an idea that seems to have possibilities for an etching.”
When searching for timeless, unforgettable and finely crafted animal creations, William Secord Gallery has created a haven for all art lovers!