The Art of the Hunt
It’s taken over a decade, but one very passionate Atlanta businessman has amassed a collection of world-class sporting art
Tucked inside an 18,000-acre working plantation in the quail-hunting belt of Southwest Georgia, there’s an elegant if understated yellow house. And on that house’s walls hangs one of the world’s better private collections of hunting art.
“The best part of a quail hunt is watching the dogs work,” says the collection’s owner, Douglas Ivester. “So I’m particularly fond of paintings that capture working dogs in their element.”
Pieced together over more than a decade, the total collection (which includes paintings, prints, and sculptures) numbers well over a hundred. “Doug has a genuine love of working the land, and an attachment to the countryside,” says C. Duncan Connelly, an Atlanta-based art dealer who helped assemble the collection. “He also has a love of dogs. And he’s a hunter. As he decided to start a collection of gun-dog paintings, the point was to depict moments between the dogs and hunters. As it’s turned out, hunters are rarely even in the frame. It’s implied that man is there, but the collection more often focuses on the moment for the dog itself.”
Despite the plantation’s diverse grouping of art, central to it are these bird-dog portraits and hunting-action canvases. “For me,” says Ivester, “there are two paintings that especially stand out. The first is called Royal Family, by Edmund Osthaus. It’s a mother who has just had pups, with the pups all there with her. It’s about the future.”