A Horse of Course: The Equine Image in Art

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A Horse of Course explores the numerous ways in which the horse has inspired artists throughout the ages. No animal has been more important to us, or figured more prominently in our art, than the horse. This exhibition is a testament to the magnificence of the horse throughout history and its changing image over time. A wide variety of artists are represented, ranging from George Stubbs, to Edgar Degas, to Deborah Butterfield. The twelve photographic reproductions are selected from the permanent collections at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. While this exhibition is perfect for K – 12 students, anyone interested in horses or art history will find the diversity of works fascinating.

While in modern times the utilitarian context of the horse has faded with the emergence of the automobile, the equine image has not lost its ability to inspire. However, artistic depictions of the horse today are drastically different from what they were in the past. Contemporary artists, like Deborah Butterfield, have made horse sculptures out of media never used in traditional representations. This evolution in artistic renderings reflects the ever-present, albeit changing, role of a beautiful and captivating animal.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has a variety of exhibitions available for statewide travel. This exhibition is supported by the Paul Mellon Fund.

LIMITED Security
Loan Period: 4 to 6 Weeks
Fee: Free

Code Number: GA-102
Framed Size: 16″ x 20″
Running Feet: 19.5′
Boxed Weight: 70 lbs.

To supplement the exhibition, we recommend the following related resources available through the Statewide Program. For more information or to schedule a speaker, workshop, or media resource, phone 804.204.2681or email edpartner@vmfa.museum.

Curator Talk with Jeffrey W. Allison

Artist Workshops:
Exploring Paul Mellon Collection: I Spy Through Edgar Degas’s Eye with Donna Drozda
Exploring Paul Mellon Collection: I Spy Through Herbert Haseltine’s Eye with Donna Drozda
Exploring Paul Mellon Collection: I Spy Through George Catlin’s Eye with Donna Drozda

Equestrian Excellence: The Art of George Stubbs with Jeffrey W. Allison
The Hierarchy of the Hunt: 18th Century British Sporting Art with Jeffrey W. Allison
Transforming Images: Degas’s Debt to Photography with Jeffrey W. Allison
The World of George Catlin with Jeffrey W. Allison

Teacher Workshop:
Horse of Course: The Equine Image in Art


Ancient Civilizations for Children #s 4 and 5
Deborah Butterfield: Dialogue with the Artist
Degas and the Dance
The Impressionists #2
The Mystery of Picasso
Paul Mellon: In His Own Words
Picasso: The Man and His Work
This Sporting Life: British Art from the Collection of Paul Mellon

VHS Cassettes:
100 Greatest Paintings, pts. 5, 9 and 14
An African Perspective: African Art
Africa’s Enduring Art: Now and Then
American Visions #5
Ancient Civilizations #4
Arts of the East: China, Japan, India, Tibet
The Atlantic Coast of Winslow Homer
The Cubist Epoch
Degas: Beyond Impressionism
Edgar Degas: The Unquiet Spirit
A First Look at Farm Animals
Frontier Visionary: George Catlin
George Stubbs
The Horse Sculptures of Deborah Butterfield
Jewel in the Himalayas
Legacy: Origins of Civilization #s 2 and 4
Lost Civilizations #6
Montparnasse #s 1 and 2
Meishu: Travels in Chinese Art #s 1 and 2
New Ways of Seeing
Picasso is 90
Picasso’s Guernica
Reconstruction of Space
The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic versus Classic Art #13
Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting #5
The Taj Mahal
Two White Horses
Winslow Homer: The Nature of the Artist
The World Began at Ile-Ife: Meaning and Function in Art
Yoruba Performance
Yoruba Ritual

Animals in Art #s 1 and 2