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Gustav Muss-Arnolt
(American, 1858 -1927 )

Gustav Muss Arnolt was one of a small group of American painters, among them Percival Rosseau and Edmund Osthaus, who specialized in the depiction of sporting dogs. Born in the mid- to a late nineteenth century, these artists captured the excitement of dogs in the field, catering to a newly wealthy group of sportsmen who actively collected their work.

Muss-Arnolt was born in Germany, but emigrated to America when he was about thirty-two, lived and worked in New York City and Tuckahoe, NY, where he made his home from about 1894 until his death in 1927. In the early 1800's he wrote and illustrated several articles for Harper's Weekly, and between May of 1895 and December of 1909, he drew over 170 illustrations for The American Kennel Club Gazette. Between 1880 and 1894, Muss- Arnolt was also a frequent contributor to The National Academy of Design annual exhibitions. He also knew dogs, for he was an "all-rounder" judge, being licensed to judge all breeds in conformation dog shows. He was active in judging field trials, and he was on the board of directors of The American Kennel Club between 1906 and 1909.

Muss-Arnolt was very active in the dog world, not only as an artist, but also as a well-known dog show judge all over the United States, England and in his native Germany. He was on the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club between 1906 and 1909. He was also active in the art world of New York City, exhibiting paintings at The National Academy of Design in 1880, 1881, 1886, 1887 and 1894.

In spite of the relatively little that is known about his life, his paintings remain as testament to his talent and love of dogs. His paintings depict the action and tension of dogs in the field, as well the precise conformation of champion show dogs. The dogs are faithfully rendered, their expression, anatomy, coat texture and color fully expressed in the finished painting. He is known for a rich, somber palette, often using umber tones to describe an autumn landscape. Although best known for his paintings of Setters and Pointers in the field, he also painted many different breeds.

Muss-Arnolt works are in many public and private collections, including The American Kennel Club, The AKC Museum of The Dog and The Genessee Country Sporting Museum.


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