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October 13, 2017  -  November 03, 2017



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The William Secord Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of the canine works of art from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Kendrick.

The Kendrick name is legendary in purebred dog circles. William was showing and judging Bull Terriers even before he graduated from Princeton University in 1926. He bred and showed dogs under the Queensbury prefix which he inherited from his uncle, W. Freeland Kendrick, one-time mayor of Philadelphia.

William Kendrick was a serious and diligent student of pure-bred dogs, collecting rare books on dogs and developing an extensive correspondence with other purebred dog fanciers, including Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, the founder of the prestigious Morris and Essex Dog Show. Mr. Kendrick became known as a serious and highly respected judge, his career culminating in 1984 when he judged Best in Show at The American Kennel Club Centennial Dog Show in Philadelphia, retiring from judging in 1989. As the dog show judge Mel Downing has pointed out, “he probably possessed a greater knowledge of dogs than any other judge.”

Many of the paintings in the collection are related to William’s breeding interests, with nineteenth century paintings of Manchester Terriers, Bull Terriers and Fox Terriers. When he married Vernelle Hartman in 1973, paintings of Poodles, Pekingese and Collies were added to their collection, including an extraordinary painting by Maud Earl of two Pekingese puppies with an African Gray parrot, painted in her classic oriental style of the 1920's.

Vernelle was herself a respected dog show judge. She started out in Poodles and in 1957 became an all-breed professional handler. She could groom a Poodle to perfection and won many Best in Shows, including at the prestigious Poodle Club of America. After her marriage to William L. Kendrick, she was licensed to judge the Toy and Non-Sporting groups, as well as Best in Show. During her judging career, she judged at some of America’s most prestigious shows, which included judging the Toy Group at the Westminster Kennel Club, and Best in Show at the Poodle Club of America.

Taken in its entirety, the collection is a testament to one couple’s love of purebred dogs and their ongoing pursuit of the dog’s history and its depiction in the visual arts.
The paintings in this exhibition are all available for purchase and all subject to prior sale.

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