New Exhibition: Kennel Club Art Gallery immerses visitors in dynasty of canine artists

The Kennel Club Art Gallery is unveiling an immersive exhibition showcasing a collection of iconic canine portraits by the renowned Earl family, alongside personal artefacts, photographs and letters.

Paintings by the Earl family have long been praised by critics for their ability to capture the unique characters of society’s much-loved canine companions, and their breadth of artwork is admired by dog enthusiasts globally due to the artistic representations of different breeds, their histories and their stories.

The Earl family established themselves in the art world after George Earl, thought to be an early member of The Kennel Club, became known for his paintings of sporting dogs. George’s elder brother, Thomas William Earl, began the tradition of painting canine subjects and he is represented in the exhibition by a painting of Dandie Dinmont Terriers in a snowy landscape. George’s daughter, Alice Maud Earl, continued her uncle and her father’s legacies, by focusing on accurate anatomical portraits of different dog breeds. Further descendants, Thomas Percy Earl, Jack Earl and Maris Earl Tomaszewski also continued the family tradition and together, their canine artistry has earned the family recognition world-wide with both dog enthusiasts and artists.

In a celebration of dogs, art and history, this exhibition is the largest compilation of works from the family displayed together in history, displayed alongside private correspondence, artefacts and photos to provide an immersive glimpse into this world-renowned dynasty of canine artists. The Kennel Club welcomes visitors to experience and explore this rare collection at its Mayfair gallery until 20 January 2023.

The range of artefacts and paintings on display spans several generations and six members of the Earl family. Artwork from each family member encompass an infamous style passed down through generations, and remains recognised in the work of Earl family descendants into the late 20th century.

Marianne Walker, Art Collection Curator at The Kennel Club said: “We are particularly excited that this display will be going beyond the artwork; the exhibition will provide intimate insights into the lives of the family behind the masterpieces, including paintings, private correspondence and photographs, all from descendants of the Earl family.

“This historical context creates an immersive experience where visitors are completely transported to live through the Earl family.”

The artwork of the Earls often attracted royal attention due to a shared interest and love of animals, which resulted in a number of royal commissions across the generations.

The plethora of pieces making up the exhibition include a prestigious loan by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection. Additional artworks have been specially selected by The Kennel Club Art Gallery from The Kennel Club’s own collection, its Arts Foundation collection and via important loans from private collections.

For those familiar with the artworks of the family, notable pieces exhibited include:

  • King George V with his granddaughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, oil on canvas c.1935 by Thomas Percy Earl. Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2022
  • Dandie Dinmont Terriers in a snowy landscape, oil on canvas by Thomas William Earl c. 19th C.
  • Champion Dogs of England, oil on canvas by George Earl c. 1860
  • Images of the only known sculpture by Maud Earl of Largo, a Pointer belonging to William Arkwright, known as the father of the Pointer
  • A copy of Silent Sorrow, a painting of Ch Cackler of Notts, aka Caesar by Maud Earl exhibited with kind permission of the American Kennel Club
  • The Field Trial by George Earl

The exhibition is open to the public at The Kennel Club Art Gallery at 10 Clarges Street, Mayfair, W1J 8AB, from 10am to 4pm.

To book your visit, please email artgallery@thekennelclub.org.uk or call 020 7518 1064.

To find out more about The Kennel Club Art Gallery, visit thekennelclub.org.uk/gallery or follow the Gallery’s Instagram at instagram.com/thekennelclubukcollections.