Marguerite Kirmse, a famous artist specializing in dogs, was born December 14, 1885 in Bournemouth, England. She arrived in the United States in 1910. During the 1910’s, she was doing drawings, pastels and paintings, primarily of dogs.
In April of 1921, she did her first etching, titled “Brushwood Boy”. The etching was done using a victrola needle. “Chase”, her second etching, was done in the same month. Eventually using diamond-pointed pencils, she went on to create over 250 etchings of dogs representing 26 breeds. Including private commissions, she did over 100 etchings of Scottish Terriers. Pointers, setters and other field dogs and terriers are included in her portfolio.
In 1924, she married George Cole, who was a dog show judge, active in field trials and a president of the Scottish Terrier Club of America. The couple owned Arcady Farm near Bridgewater, Connecticut and a farm in South Carolina. Under the Tobermory Kennel, they bred Airedales, English Pointers and Setters, Irish Terriers, various Spaniels and Scotties.
Kirmse’s art appears as illustrations in many books. Her 3 most desirable books are “Dogs”, an edition of 750 containing prints of 75 of her etchings and “Dogs in the Field”, an edition of 685. Each book has an original pencil signed etching. The third book is “collected Dog Stories” by Rudyard Kipling. The deluxe version of each book has an original pencil drawing signed by her.
In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, Kirmse was doing sculptures of dogs that were produced in bronze by the Gorham Foundry in Rhode Island. Breeds done included dachshund, English Pointer, Sealyham, Setter, German Shepherd and Scotties. The Scotties include 3 smaller versions (sitting, crouching and standing) and 2 larger sculptures.
The Wedgewood Company produced highly collectible dinner plates with reproductions of her etchings on the plates. The images on the plates were from the ”Non-Sporting Terrier and Working Dog” series.
All aspects of Marguerite Kirmse’s art are highly collectible, especially among dog enthusiasts, today. She died at the age of 69 on December 13, 1954 in Bridgewater, Connecticut.