EDMUND HENRY OSTHAUS1858-1928
Edmund Henry Osthaus, one of the most important American painters of sporting dogs in the late 19th Century, was born in Hildesheim, Germany in 1858. He studied at the Royal Academy in Dusseldorf between 1874 and 1882 with history painters Andreas Muller, Peter Jansen and Eduard von Gebhardt; religious painter Ernst Deger; and wildlife and landscape artist, Christian Kroner. Osthaus emigrated to Toledo, Ohio in 1883. He became chief instructor, and then director of the Toledo Academy of Fine Arts, a position that he held from 1886 to 1893. During this time Osthaus was also part-owner with J. E. Dager of Maumee Kennels in Toledo. Osthaus resigned his directorship to pursue his passions of painting, shooting, and following field trials full time. He was a charter member of the National Field Trial Association, founded in 1895, a field trial judge, and owned a hunting lodge in Marianna, Jackson County, Florida. Osthaus represented his favorite activities in both watercolor and oil. His specialty was hunting dogs, particularly pointers and setters. Osthaus created portraits of the winners of the National Field Trial Association for thirty years. These were reproduced as calendars, postcards and lithographs by the DuPont Powder Company. The artist’s work was much sought after by wealthy American sportsmen. Among his patrons were Boston industrialist and quail hunter, Hobart Ames; tobacco product manufacturer, Pierre Lorillard of New York and Newport; and Cleveland wholesale merchant, Harry Edwards. Osthaus was a member of the Toledo Tile Club, the group that was instrumental in founding the Toledo Museum of Art. In 1911 Osthaus established a studio in Los Angeles, California. He also maintained homes in Ohio and New Jersey. His paintings were exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Diego Fine Arts Gallery. His works are among the collections of the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, St. Louis, Missouri; Butler Institute of American Art, Canton Museum of Art and the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; National Bird Dog Museum and Field Trial Hall of Fame, Grand Junction, Tennessee; Oshkosh Public Museum, Wisconsin; Port Huron Museum, Michigan; and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Maryland; and are collected by dog and hunting enthusiasts all over the world. Osthaus’ paintings comprise not only a worthy artistic legacy, but also chronicle early American sporting dogs and field trial history.