University of Kentucky’s “Hoofbeats and Heartbeats” Exhibits the Artistic Side of Horses during the World Equestrian Games

If there is a rainy day during the World Equestrian Games, and you decide to take in a museum, you’ll have quite a few choices. Of course you will be checking out the museums and exhibits at the Kentucky Horse Park as part of your experience at the Games, but it seems like all of Kentucky is brimming with art and history exhibits related to horses.

But I think at the top of everyone?s list should be the ?Hoofbeats and Heartbeats: The Horse in American Art? exhibit at the University of Kentucky Art Museum. The exhibit opened three weeks ago and it seems to be going strong.

This exhibit is not just another collection of nice horse paintings, although they certainly are paintings (along with some sculpture, drawings and prints) and they are very nice. But this collection has been curated, or gathered together, to tell a story. The paintings are grouped by topic so you can view a collection of working horses, military horses, pleasure and show horses, etc. How did the painter view each type of horse? And how was the horse presented, what response was the artist hoping to elicit from the viewer?

Some of the these paintings may be familiar to you, but probably most will not. This is not another collection of familiar racehorse portraits or Stubbs scenes. This is the changing American landscape, with the constant being the horse. Except no two horses are portrayed in the same way.

Please let me know what you think of the exhibit. Check the Museum?s web site for special late hours on some nights during WEG if you?d like to go in the evening. Admission is $10.

You might enjoy the special free lecture in conjunction with the exhibit on October 6. Dr. Mark Summers from the University of Kentucky?s History Department will speak on The Horse in American History at noon.

Would you like to hear more about the exhibit? Here’s an interview with the Museum’s Amy Nelson; Amy has a talk with local Lexington ABC Channel 36’s Doug High about “Hoofbeats and Heartbeats”.

The Discover WEG blog will have more announcements about equine art exhibits and events during the World Equestrian Games. We’ll also preview some of the artwork with you! This will be fun!