Paul Mellon collected George Stubbs with a passion and an instinctual feel for his qualities. The very first painting Mellon ever purchased was Stubbs’s Pumpkin with a Stable-Lad (1774). He also collected Stubbs comprehensively, even systematically, acquiring drawings, prints, enamels, and Stubbs’s only publication, The Anatomy of the Horse. There is a range and a depth to this collection that no other public or private collection can rival.
The Center published a handsome, fully-illustrated book to accompany this exhibition. Designed by Greer Allen and Julie Lavorgna, it has an introductory essay by Malcolm Cormack, Paul Mellon Curator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and contributions by the curatorial staff of the Center. The book formed part of the Center’s tribute to its munificent founder and brought together for the first time the most remarkable and comprehensive collection of George Stubbs ever created.
Yale Center for British Art: April 30–September 1, 1999
Virginia Museum of Fine Art: February 14–May 15, 2000