AFTER THE HUNT: THE ART COLLECTION OF WILLIAM B. RUGER
Author: Adrienne Ruger Conzelman
Publisher: STACKPOLE BOOKS, Nov 2002
In-depth catalogue of the most intriguing examples in the William B. Ruger collection of 200+ works. 83 color photos; 10.5x11.5 inches, 200 pgs.
? 83 photos of William B. Ruger's private collection
? Pieces depicting the American West, hunting, wildlife, landscapes, and historical scenes
? Artists include Frederic Sackrider Remington, Maxfield Parrish, Albert Bierstadt, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait
? Introductory essays by Peter H. Hassrick and Linda S. Ferber
Rarely does a collection of art speak so clearly to the mind of its assembler. As Ruger is hailed as the last of a generation of true American visionaries, After the Hunt stands as a compelling tribute to his extraordinary character and achievement.
William Batterman Ruger stands out as one of the great Renaissance men of the twentieth century. His life of epic Kenyan safaris, grand tours of the European Continent, and sporting explorations of the American West expanded on the cultivated sensibility which had been instilled in him as the eager scion of a family of New York City businessmen. Having co-founded Sturm, Ruger & Company in 1949 and overseeing its development over the next half century, Ruger is widely accredited for single-handedly revolutionizing the American firearms industry. Bearing the dual traits of a cerebral country gentleman and a hard-driving American industrialist, Ruger approached both his career and his passions with a singular perspective. Amongst the several important collections assembled by Ruger, his exceptional group of American and European paintings and sculpture perhaps best reflect his dynamic and multifaceted character.
After the Hunt is an in-depth catalogue of the most intriguing examples in the William B. Ruger collection of more than two hundred works. Produced and written by Ruger's granddaughter, Adrienne Ruger Conzelman, a specialist in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century fine art, this book knowingly illustrates the historical importance of the featured works and with the perspective of an intimate of the collector. Sections such as "Cowboys and Indians" and "On and Off the Battlefield" provide the reader with a rich visual and textual account of American history. "The Great Outdoors" and "Romance, Fantasy, and Mystery" offer more than a glimpse into the collector's more romantic and sentimental tendencies. "At Sea and By the Shore" and "Hunters and Prey" feature favorite American pastimes that also represent defining preoccupations in Ruger's own legendary life.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
"The Ruger Collection's scope and grand setting demonstrate a range of collecting interests not guided by fashion, but by deep and abiding personal interests. These are narratives of male adventure, quest, and enterprise. They are joined to a deep fascination with the exotic. This collector is a romantic with an enduring appetite for a good story well told: be it historic anecdote or allegory, legend or tall tale. These works also reflect a preoccupation evident in Bill Ruger's corresponding collections of firearms and automobiles: that is a keen eye for the well-made object and a deep respect for technical mastery and craft."
--Dr. Linda S. Ferber, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art
"The western paintings of The William B. Ruger collection are a tribute to a remarkable man and a fascinating subject. The broad and enduring appeal of the American West and its story in its many guises address the universality of the region. The West and the frontier life were, and often still are today, perceived as quintessentially representative of the American spirit. These are the social and historical elements at the core of Ruger's western art. The works reveal much about the American nation and its art traditions; they also reveal Bill Ruger as a pioneer in preserving that history and art."
--Peter H. Hassrick, independent art historian
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND EXPERTS
Adrienne Ruger Conzelman is an art historian and independent consultant. She earned an M.A. in art history from Williams College, and, while working as a Specialist in American Paintings at Christie's in New York, she received a certificate in appraisal studies from New York University. She now serves on the Curatorial Committee at the Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, New York, and on the Committee on the Visual Arts at Hamilton College. She recently curated Hamilton Makes Art, the first exhibition of alumni artists from Hamilton and Kirkland Colleges. After the Hunt is the result of cataloguing and researching the art collection of her grandfather, William B. Ruger.
Dr. Linda S. Ferber is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where she also chairs the department of American art. She has organized exhibitions, taught, and lectured widely on a variety of topics. Her publications include William T. Richards: American Landscape and Marine Painter (1973); The New Path: Ruskin and the American Pre-Raphaelites (1985) with William H. Gerdts and others; Albert Bierstadt: Art & Enterprise (1990), with Nancy K. Anderson; Masters of Color and Light: Homer, Sargent and the American Watercolor Movement (1998), with Barbara Dayer Gallati; and Pastoral Interlude: William T. Richards in Chester County (2001).
Peter H. Hassrick is an art historian with more than thirty years experience as a museum curator and director. His career has taken him to the Amon Carter Museum, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. He has written and lectured widely on the subject of American western art and holds the title of Founding Director Emeritus of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma.