Appleton Museum of Art

of Florida State University and
Central Florida Community College

Ocala, Florida

352-236-7100



 

The Horse in Fine Art

October 5 through November 2, 1997

 

 

 

Spring Play

bronze

Catherine Irving

 

 

The Horse in Fine Art, the first nationally touring exhibition organized by the American Academy

of Equine Art, makes its debut at The Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala on October 5, and runs

through November 2, 1997.

 

The horse has been the subject of man's artistic endeavors since prehistoric times. Of the

hundreds of paintings dating from the Ice Age that have been discovered in caves in France and

Spain, nearly one third are of horses. "Whether it is the awesomeness of its power and speed, the

gracefulness of its lines, or the mystery of its association with man (at once submissive and free

spirited), the horse has aroused the fiercest emotions and the most splendid artistic responses."

writes John Fairly in the introduction to his book, The Art of the Horse.

 

Roman Holiday

Watercolor, 26 x 39 inches

Amy Gessner-Larson

 

The thirty-five painters and twenty-one sculptors whose work is included in the

exhibition, The Horse in Fine Art, are the most renowned and talented artists working in this

genre today. They have represented the horse in diverse surroundings and activities such as

racing, fox hunting, show jumping, polo, and dressage and have used a variety of media

including oil, watercolor, pencil, bronze, and steel to capture their subjects.

 

Among the painters are Anthony Alonso, internationally known for painting

thoroughbreds and their owners and for recording life at the track; Andre Pater, a leading painter

of top Arabian horses (see below); Jean Bowman, the first American to show at Ackermann Gallery in

London, the oldest sporting gallery in the world (Bowman is co-founder of the American

Academy of Equine Art); Neil Cawthorne, one of the most popular racehorse portraitists in

England; and Sam Savitt, the official artist of the U.S. Equestrian Team. The others are: Christine

Cancelli, Malcolm Coward, James Crow, Susan Dorazio, Amy Gessner-Larson (see above), Valerie Hinz,

Peter Howell, Graham Isom, Henry Koehler, John Leone, Booth Malone, Kim McGinness,

Richard McLean, Joan Middleton, Roy Miller, Lanford Monroe, Fay Moore, Terry Kelly

Moyers, Barbara Oelke, Sandra Oppegard, Werner Rentsch, R. S. Riddick, Alister Simpson, Oleg

Stavrowsky, Joseph Sulkowski, Else Tuckerman, Lynn Wade, Rosemary Sarah Welch, Larry

Wheeler, and Suzi Zimmerer.

 

Sculptors in the exhibition include: Gwen Reardon who has sculpted such legendary horses as

Seattle Slew, Alysheba, and Secretariat and who received the commission for Thoroughbred Park

in Lexington, Kentucky (This tribute to the Thoroughbred industry consists of thirteen powerful

bronze sculptures, the jewel of which is a life-size seven horse race in which each horse is ridden

by a famous jockey.) and Jan Woods, best known for her expressive bronzes of hunters, jumpers,

and thoroughbred race horses. She is the creator of the annual Horse of the Year Awards for the

National Grand Prix League. Other sculptors include Glencairn Bowlby, Bunny Connell, James

Dye, Francis Eustis, Edward Fraughton, Anne Frey, Kathleen Friedenberg, Elizabeth Guarisco,

Shelley Hunter, Catherine Irving (see above), Peggy Kauffman, Alexa King, Cammie Lundeen, Phyllida

Meacham, Marilyn Newmark, Judy Nordquist, Lisa Ferry, Robert Spinazzola, and Cindy Wolf.

 

Charge!

oil on canvas, 29 x 55 inches

Andre Pater

 

Many of these artists are members of the American Academy of Equine Art (AAEA).

Founded in 1980 by a group of distinguished painters and sculptors famed individually for their

work on equine subjects, and modeled after the Royal Academy in London, the AAEA seeks to

establish a standard of excellence in the field of equine art and to broaden public recognition of

American equine painting and sculpture through educational programs and exhibitions. The

AAEA organizes two annual exhibitions--an invitational exhibition in the spring, and a juried

exhibition in the fall. Both these exhibitions are looked upon by collectors and dealers as a

source for the best in contemporary equine art as they feature artists from all parts of the United

States as well as several other countries. The AAEA also offers a series of drawing, painting and

sculpting workshops in the fall and summer at the Kentucky Horse Park. Beginning in 1998, winter

workshops will also be held at The Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala.

 

That this exhibition will debut in Ocala is only fitting as Ocala/Marion County has been

the home of Florida's horse industry since the 1930s. More than 40 breeds are represented on

the approximately 1,200 horse farms that dot the rolling hills of Marion County. The equine

population is now estimated at close to 20,000. Thoroughbreds dominate--Ocala is one of only

four major thoroughbred centers in the world, on a par with Lexington, Kentucky, Newmarket,

England, and Chantilly, France--but World-champion Quarter horses, Paso Finos, Appaloosas,

Morgans, and Arabians also call Marion County home. The area's horse industry received much

attention this spring when two Florida-breds, Silver Charm and Captain Bodgit, took high

honors in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

 

Platinum sponsors of the exhibit at The Appleton Museum of Art are: Florida

Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association and North America Livestock, Inc., the equine

division of Great American Insurance Co.

 

The Horse in Fine Art will travel next to The Canton Museum of Art in Canton, Ohio,

the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and will finish its

tour in April/May 1998 at The International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park

in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

 

Images and text Courtesy of The Appleton Museum of Art


Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1997 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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