At Yale University, the Center for British Art holds a rich archive for the study of British sporting pastimes, including fox-hunting and horse racing. The simple keyword “horse” entered in the Collections Search returns more than 3,600 results! These works range from sculptures to prints and paintings, as well as rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera. Many of these collection items have been digitized and are available through the Collections search engine, allowing for ease of access and discovery.
The Center for British Art was established with the gift of Paul Mellon (1907–1999), who took his serious and life-long passion for horse riding and racehorse breeding into an equally serious collection of rare books and manuscripts on British sport. Podeschi’s volume on the Paul Mellon Collection provides the most extensive reference list (Sport in Art and Books : The Paul Mellon Collection, 1981). Some of the Mellon Collection items also are found in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the National Sporting Library and Museum.
For scholars, the Yale Center for British Art houses a Reference Library with extensive British sporting art research materials. Reference holdings can be accessed through the Center’s collection search and through Orbis, Yale’s online library catalogue.
Residential Scholar Awards are available for conducting study and research in this collection. The Yale British Art Center, affiliated with the Paul Mellon Center for British Art in the UK, also publishes an online journal, British Art Studies, a potential home for your future research.
To date, none of the past scholars in residence have pursued an equine topic, despite the riches awaiting within!
For Further Reference: