"Know how to refresh the spirit, through nature and through art."...
Oh to be the person my dog thinks I am... Linda Sullivan.
"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things man
will not himself find peace." Albert Schweitzer.
"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats
her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.
A pet is for life and they should not be bred or
purchased to support fashion trends. Always buy from a reputable breeder...
Unless otherwise indicated, all canine pieces and many human pieces displayed on this site are available for purchase. Please contact Joy for information regarding lead time and shipping charges. Most pieces are in stock but not all. Joy welcomes MasterCard, Visa, money order, or personal check, and, Layaway is always welcome.
Bronze Sculpture: A Good Life
Life-sized Standard Dachshund ~ 25 1/2"L ~ Bronze ~ Edition of 20 & 2 Artist's Proofs ~ ©1996
Life-sized Miniature Dachshund ~ 21"L ~ Bronze ~ Edition of 20 & 2 Artist's Proofs ~ ©1998
Photo see below
1:6 Scale ~ 4 3/4"L ~ Bronze ~ Edition of 99 & 9 Artist's Proofs ~ © 1997
Photo not available
National Sculpture Society Silver Medal
Original purchased for the AKC Museum of the Dog
|This work depicts a position every dog enjoys, stretching and massaging its back. Modeled life-sized from life, from nature, and a bit from photographs, it is a loving combination of Anna and Lizzie, whom you are about to meet.
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, Judge Weldon Long, I took Dreaming of Tomatús, and told breeders I was looking for a new model -- a standard, smooth, mahogany bitch with a good head. I would show her only through my sculpture. 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.
In October 1999, the National Sculpture Society, NSS, awarded A Good Life its Silver Medal and the John Cavanaugh Memorial Prize in its 66th Annual Exhibition. The American Women Artists awarded the 21" version their highest award in April 1999. A Good Life earned the Ellin P. Speyer Prize at the National Academy Museum's 173rd Annual Exhibition in NYC. As the 1997 Best in Show winner at the Art Show at the Dog Show, Wichita, KS, show sponsors purchased the first cast for its permanent home at The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, St. Louis, MO. The Pen & Brush, Inc., NYC, 51st Annual Sculpture Exhibition awarded A Good Life their highest award. In November 1997, The Dog Fanciers Club, Inc., NYC, awarded the third Best-in-Show at their 10th Annual Contemporary Dog Art Competition. In April 1999, the American Women Artists awarded the 21" version their highest award.
A Good Life, 25 1/2"L, number 1/20, was completed in bronze August 2, 1996. I modeled the 1:6 scale, 4 3/4"L version directly in wax from the life-sized version. In November 1999, I made the 1:6 scale version an edition limited to 99. Below the 60's, each is simply signed and numbered. A dog show judge commissioned the 21"L, life-sized "miniature."
|A GOOD LIFE ~ SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
Ella Carouthers Dunnigan Gallery of Art, Bolivar, MO ~ Art of the Animal
Kingdom V National Tour $
Society of Animal Artists, Inc. ~ Annual Exhibition 2000
Audubon Artists of America, Inc., NYC ~ 58th Annual Exhibition
The Library of Hattiesburg, MS ~ National Small Sculpture Exhibition 2000 $
American Women Artists, Taos, NM ~ Second National Competition
National Sculpture Society, NYC ~ 66th Annual Exhibition ~ Silver Medal & John Cavanaugh Memorial Prize.
Fine Arts Institute at the San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CA ~ 34th
Annual Open International Exhibition
National Academy Museum, New York, NY ~ 173rd Annual Exhibition
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Inc., New York, NY ~ 102nd Annual Open Exhibition
National League of American Pen Women, Springdale, AK ~ 16th Annual Women's National Juried Art Exhibition
Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX ~ Confluence 1998 ~ 26th Annual National Juried Painting & Sculpture Exhibition
Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC ~ 6th International Miniature Show
Washburn University, Topeka, KS ~ Third Annual Sculpture Exhibition
The Pen & Brush, New York, NY ~ 51st Annual Sculpture Exhibition
Art Show at the Dog Show, Wichita, KS ~ 11th Annual Exhibition$
Dog Fanciers Club, Inc., New York, NY ~ 10th Annual Dog Art Competition
Chambersburg Council for the Arts, Chambersburg, PA ~ 13th Annual Exhibition of Miniature Art
Arts Center of the Ozarks, Springdale, AK ~ 3rd Annual Artists of Northwest Arkansas Fall Regional Exhibition
St. Louis Artists' Guild, Clayton, MO ~ 84th Annual Sculpture Exhibition
Artists' Atelier of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA ~ National Miniature Show
=Award =Best-in-Show $=Purchase Award
1999 Photo & remarks in Wildlife Art, Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo; Taos News, Taos, NM: Ladue News, Ladue, MO. Remarks in Southwest Art.
1998 Photo & remarks in Canine Images, Premier Issue; Dachshund Review, Cover of Winter issue, Dog Fancy & Dog World, March issues
1997 Photo & remarks in Wildlife Art, Art Revue, The Equine Image, AKC Gazette, Dachshund Review, and Sirius, the magazine of The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, St. Louis, MO
|What they said...
"Top dog! A Good Life, a bronze by Joy Kroeger Beckner of Chesterfield, MO, earned Best-in-Show and the first-place award for sculpture at the Art Show at the Dog Show. Nearly 300 artists entered 653 works in the 11th annual show, the nation's premier, juried, fine-arts competition devoted to canine art." Wichita Eagle, April 1997
"Joy Kroeger Beckner's 'Best-in-Show' bronze dachshund (exemplifies) compositional vivacity."
Dr. Novalene Ross, Chief Curator, Wichita Art Museum.
"I was especially taken with the magnificent bronze sculpture of a dachshund. Titled A Good Life, this Best-in-Show winner, will have a prominent place at the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, St. Louis, MO."
Ronald H. Menaker, Director of The American Kennel Club.
Mounted on a 30" x 48" steel base, "Life is Good" is a combination of "A Good Life" and Life's a Ball!"
"Life is Good"
Heart of Evergreen Sculpture Walk 2001-2002.
|To see the 1:6 Scale bronze "A Good Life," please CLICK HERE.
"A Good Life"
Life sized Miniature
Dunnegan Gallery, Bolivar, MO
Dunnegan photo: Joy Beckner
|"A good painting [sculpture] to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires."
- Hedy Lamarr -
Sizes and Coats
|SS: Standard Smooth
SW: Standard Wirehair
SL: Standard Longhair
MS: Miniature Smooth
MW: Miniature Wirehair
ML: Miniature Longhair
1:6 Scale: Fits in a hand
|Pieces may be commissioned in Smooth, Wire or Long coat.
Canine photography by Mel Schockner, except as noted.
Joy's - Updates
11/23/89 - 10/12/06
Photo by Joy
In Honor of
National Sculpture Society elected me as a Professional Sculptor member. I am honored and thank those who voted for me.