Museum Shop Manager
Henry Rankin Poore
In my 20 plus years at the Museum, the collection has changed and grown and I’ve had the opportunity to have many favorite things. At one time, it was the Portrait of Elizabeth Perkins Ely, a grand portrait of a simple woman. Also on my favorites list is the Portrait of Harlan Page, the wild haired man who is portrayed so full of passion that it looks as if his head might burst into flames. Until I started writing this, I didn’t realize that so many of my favorites were portraits. Today, Henry Rankin Poore’s Beagle Hound is my favorite work of art in the Museum’s collection. It is a dignified, well-executed portrait of, well, a beagle. The expression on the dog’s face is so somber. The artist’s approach to the subject is so serious and utterly without irony. The surrounding frame is so sumptuous. It might as well be a portrait of a bank president or noted professor. I’m drawn to the picture because of my deep affection for animals, and I sense in the beagle a certain self-awareness as if he knows that sitting for one’s portrait is a serious occasion and that this is his shot at immortality. Beagle Hound makes me smile every time I look at it.
Please Note: This painting is on view in the Florence Griswold House