Photographs from the Picardy Kennel

The second donation to be mentioned is of some very important photographs of early German Shepherd Dogs from the Picardy Kennel. Photographs can often be overlooked when thinking about a collection and donation, but they form an important historical and visual record of a breed and are an invaluable research resource within the Kennel Club Photography Collection. Heidi Hudson, Kennel Club Digital Assets Manager and Image Collection Manager, is currently undertaking a Masters Degree at Birkbeck University in History of Art in Photography specialising in dogs in photography and is committed to the importance of the historical photographic documentation of dogs, seeing the images not just as documentary evidence of changes within a breed, but also, importantly, as Art.

Lieutenant Colonel J Y Baldwin started the Picardy Kennel after seeing the breed at work during the first world war and, remarkably had a bitch called "Lou" with him at the Battle of the Somme. Already a long time dog enthusiast, Lt. Col. Baldwin would pen articles for the dog papers from the trenches. Together with friend and fellow German Shepherd Dog enthusiast, Lt.Col Moore-Brabazon, they were instrumental in introducing the breed to the U.K and in having the "Alsatian" recognised by the Kennel Club. Lt.Col. Baldwin bred his first litter in France and they were born at Picardy, hence the Kennel name and after returning home he started the first Breed Club in July of 1919 and successfully bred a number of Champions, Ch Cillason of Picardy and Ch Benign of Picardy to name but a few. It should be noted as well that Ch Benign of Picardy was the first Breed and Working Trials Champion in Britain.

Lt. Col Baldwin was a keen and talented photographer and it is from his archive and that of his daughter, Miss Margaret Ann Baldwin, that the photographs come.

Miss Baldwin had a long and illustrious career as a Show Judge, carrying out appointments around the world as well as the UK, and only retired at the age of 70. For some years Miss Baldwin worked as a journalist in America and maintained her involvement in the breed, continuing to Judge and was made an honorary member of the German Shepherd Dog Fanciers of Northern Carolina before returning to the UK.

She maintains a strong and lifelong interest in the breed.




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