Ask a fisherman about the art of angling and most likely he will raise his eyebrows and scratch his head. There isn't any, is there? After all, isn't fishing about catching fish? Well maybe, but then again, if there really is more to fishing than catching fish, art has a good claim to be part of the something extra, because it is one of the few ways we have of catching memories and holding them up to the light of posterity. One of the most unexpected things about the art of angling is that it has a far longer history than the written word - the oldest pictures of anglers date back to antiquity and the oldest image of a British angler was created a thousand years ago.

So angling art has a long and distinguished history, which makes it all the more extraordinary that so few books have been devoted to the subject. Shaw Sparrow's Angling in British Art was published in 1923 and has had so little competition that for nearly 90 years it remained the last (and only) word on the subject. Fortunately, David Beazley came to the rescue in 2010 with Images of Angling, which, with the proviso that it only deals with angling prints, is a fine successor to Sparrow's monumental work. If you are at all interested in the art of angling, you should buy a copy - it will repay your investment a thousand times.

One area remains untouched by either of authors mentioned above and that is the photography of angling. In Britain, a single man can claim the crown for angling's most famous photographer - and that is Dr. E. A. Barton, a past president of the Flyfishers' Club and one of the most rewarding companions you could care to meet. In his memory, one of our three inaugural exhibitions is devoted to his work - if you have never seen it before, prepare to be impressed.



The photography of E.A. Barton

Known to many as the "Ansel Adams of the chalk streams".



Francis Francis - engravings from Sporting Sketches

Francis Francis lush 1878 work on field sports.




Jonathan Couch - A History of the Fishes of the British Islands

Couch was one of the great amateur naturalists of his day.



Reverend HoughtonReverend Houghton - British Fresh-Water Fishes

This contains some of the finest lithographs of fish ever seen in print.