A Pictorial Chronology of the Bulldog Club of America’s National Show Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex Winners
A Brief History
The National Gallery as we know it today was the brainchild of Mr. & Mrs. C.L. Savage and dates back to 1961 when an oil painting of CH Cockney Gorblimey on display at the National Show held in Oregon awakened the desire to capture the likeness and preserve for posterity the Bulldog Club of America National Specialty Winners.
The painting was again displayed at the Bulldog Club of America banquet in Indianapolis in 1962. Mrs. Savage presented her thoughts for a Bulldog "Hall of Fame" at that time. Her idea was that members and clubs contribute to its formation and all winners since the reorganization of the Bulldog Club of America 14 years ago would be represented and each year thereafter a painting would be added. The idea was a tremendous success and the first seven paintings were unveiled at the Bulldog Club of America banquet the night of April 20, 1963 in St. Louis, thereafter to be displayed at each National Show.
In 1967 the Council voted to include paintings of the Best of Opposite Sex Winners from this year forward. Anyone having a Best of Opposite Sex Winner prior to that time was welcome to donate a painting at their expense. At the October 1971 Council Meeting the name was officially changed to the Gallery of National Winners. As the Gallery grew, so too did the expenses involved in shipping and storing so many paintings.
In 1973, Ernest F. Hubbard wrote a proposal to Mack Truck, Inc. asking Mack to display the paintings at their World Headquarters in Allentown. Thus "Bulldog Alley" was born and a long and happy association with Mack Trucks. Mack displayed the paintings in a hallway adjacent to the main entrance of the building, in the same corridor as their popular gift shop. They also absorbed the cost of shipping the Gallery by air freight to and from the National Show each year. Mack housed the Gallery from 1974 to 1990 at which time, because of financial difficulties and a change in management, they indicated their desire to have the paintings removed. For those 15 years the Bulldog Club of America owes Mack Trucks a tremendous debt and it was with deep regret that the Council accepted Mack's decision and is currently in the process of locating a new home for the Gallery.
The year 1990 marked the 100th Anniversary of the Bulldog Club of America. In celebrating our Centennial, we not only had the Gallery and the Hall of Fame, the Rodney Trophy, the Fearnought Bowl and the Minn-A-Sota Fats Bowl, but we also had for display two historic trophies - the Grand Trophy and the Sawyer Cup, on loan to us from the American Kennel Club especially for that Show.
A special "Thank You" to Sandra Martinez and Terry Reamy who took some of the recent photos used on this page.
Click Thumbnails for larger view.