Edgar Brown has painted a score of different teams and star athletes, but the official painter of the 1994 and 1996 Hambletonian first started painting sports with a picture of New York Giants Tight End Mark Bavaro for his ill father. Losing his father and mother shortly thereafter “was a life changing event and an awakening of the spirit” and passion for sports art after seeing the comfort and happiness it gave his father.
Commissioned by the Hambletonian Society and the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority in the early 90s, Brown took that passion to Meadowlands track where he constantly could be seen in the grandstand and paddock sketching the horses and drivers. He worked tirelessly to get views from every perspective during races, and would shoot reference photos from around the bends to the roof looking down at the track at all times of day. Brown would even ride in the starting gate not only to get closeups of the Standardbreds trotting and pacing, but also to sketch out the gates themselves.
Throughout his 1994 piece below
are little references to the history of this great sport, like including the one time most winning harness racing driver Ted Wing. Brown had such a great time interviewing him and gaining insight into the sport through his friendly stories that he decided to immortalize him. “He went nuts when he saw it and could not believe [Brown] included him..he was thrilled.”
If you look at the foreground of the ’96 painting, you’ll find Brown and some of his family, including his sons Jimmy, Eddie and Bryan as well as his sister, brother and nephews nearby. Brown would often go to Yankees and Giants game with his father as a kid, so being able to personalize the family fun of going to the track meant a lot to him.
Brown’s sports art paintings hang in some of the most prominent art museums, sports facilities and art galleries across the country and we’re proud to be able to include him as part of the family and history of this incredible event.