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joy kroeger beckner joy kroeger beckner

Joy Kroeger Beckner
"A Good Life" - SOLD OUT
Bronze, Edition of 20 & 2 Artist's Proofs
25 1/2" L

In 1997, "A Good Life" was the Best in Show winner at the Art Show at the Dog Show in Wichita, KS. Show sponsors then purchased the first cast for the permanent collection of the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog.
In 1999, the National Sculpture Society, NSS, awarded "A Good Life" its Silver Medal and the John Cavanaugh Memorial Prize in its 66th Annual Exhibition.

a good life
Photograph by Mel Schockner.

This work depicts a position every dog enjoys, stretching and massaging its back. Modeled lifesized from life, from nature, and a bit from photographs, it is a loving combination of Joy's dachshunds Anna and Lizzie.

"In the Spring of 1996, though her health was failing, our dear Anna posed on her back in her bed through about two-thirds of this clay. She appeared to be comfortable, though she had heart and bladder problems. Anna died during the early hours of May 7. Through tears, I did the hardest thing I have ever done. I completed a front foot and a back foot. I worked on one side of her face and by 5 o'clock I could do no more. I buried my friend in the grave my husband, Brian, had dug earlier in the day. For three weeks, I could not go into my studio. May 31, 1996 was the Dachshund Club of St. Louis Specialty Show. At the invitation of my dachshund anatomy mentor, Weldon Long, I took "Dreaming of Tomatoes," and told breeders I was looking for a new model. Springfield, MO breeder, Rita Toombs, came to my rescue with a gorgeous, retired, spayed, show girl, Braaehaus Hometown Girl, call name, Lizzie. I told Brian all about her and the very next day we drove six hours to get her. Two days after Lizzie came home, I started to finish "A Good Life." I was particularly interested to see the differences between Anna and Lizzie, who is from the top Canadian breeder. The head evolved into Lizzie's head but the body is essentially Anna's. The necessity of using two models was a blessing. The piece could not have been as exciting otherwise! Friends kept saying what 'a good life' Anna had. Naming this piece was much easier than making it." - Joy Kroeger Beckner

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