Gustav Muss-Arnolt (1858-1927) May Doo
signed "G. Muss-Arnolt" lower right
oil on canvas, 19 by 26 in.
inscribed "May Doo" lower left
May Doo was owned and handled by Frank Reilly of Medford, New Jersey. She placed first in her class at the English Setter Club of America Field Day Trials. Reilly was a field trial stake judge and is cited by sporting dog historian Albert Frederick Hochwalt in several publications as a breeder of pointers and English setters. In addition to May Doo, Reilly owned many other well-known field trial dogs, including Rod Sing, 1911 Field Trial National Champion Eugene M., and “famed setter” Victor Okaw. He commissioned Edmund Osthaus (1958-1928) to paint Victor Okaw in the early 1900s.
Reilly served as president of The English Setter Club of America from 1911 until 1916 and is known as a founding father of the club, which awards a trophy in his honor. Elmer Simkins, Reilly’s contemporary and secretary of the club, reminisces, “...his one love was The English Setter Club...It was he who was the guiding spirit that carried the club successfully through its early days of growing pains and development. It is doubtful that The English Setter Club of America would ever have gained the eminent position it occupies without the benign influence of Frank Reily [sic].”
Muss-Arnolt’s depiction of May Doo is an exceptional example of sporting dog portraiture, commissioned by one of the leading setter and pointer enthusiasts and field trial promoters in the early years of the sport in America.
Provenance: Private Collection, New York
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