Richard Newton, Jr., Major W. Austin Wadsworth, MFH, Riding Devilkin, 1915
John J. Head writes, in the Summer 2007 edition of the Social Register, an appreciation of the painting used to illustrate an article noticing the centenary of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of North America.
Often called the ‘Dean of American Foxhunting,’ Major William Austin Wadsworth –heir to a large land-holding in the Genessee Valley of western New York State and an 1870 graduate of Harvard with a degree in chemistry who pursued post-graduate work at the University of Berlin– was deemed by his peers, in 1907, to be suitable presidential material for the newly formed Masters of Foxhounds Association of America.
The American artist Richard Newtown, Jr. captured on canvas the qualities that so appealed to Wadsworth’s fellow masters, insofar as any painting can embody traits of character and breeding, in his 1915 oil portrait. … Amidst soft autumnal colors, under a steel-gray sky, we observe this keen judge of dogs and horses as he surveys the pack of foxhounds he has carefully and scientifically bred to hunt his ancestral territory of 60,000 acres in Geneseo, NY. Members of the Genesee Valley Hunt, which was founded on the centennial of the Revolution, wear unique attire. In a display of pastriotism, traditional scarlet coats are eschewed in favor of dark blue melton coats, buff collars and buff breeches, the colors worn by the Continental Army.