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Running Horse

unknown%20American%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Running%20Horse%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%2019th%20century%2C%20sheet%20metal%2C%20Museum%20Purchase%3A%20Children%27s%20Museum%20Fund%2C%20no%20known%20copyright%20restrictions%2C%2044.3
unknown American, Running Horse, 19th century, sheet metal, Museum Purchase: Children's Museum Fund, no known copyright restrictions, 44.3

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Details
Title

Running Horse

Artist

unknown American (American)

Date

19th century

Medium

sheet metal

Dimensions (H x W x D)

20 7/8 in x 40 11/16 in

Collection Area

American Art

Category

Sculpture

Object Type

sculpture

Culture

American

Credit Line

Museum Purchase: Children's Museum Fund

Accession Number

44.3

Copyright

no known copyright restrictions

Terms

horse

sculpture

sheet metal

weathervanes

Description

This weathervane sculpture was made in Pennsylvania and, mounted on a rooftop, served to indicate wind direction and absorb lightning. During the 19th century, weathervanes were often mass-produced, although many were still individually made by farmers and blacksmiths. They usually depicted famous race horses, the farm’s signature animal, or horses from popular Currier & Ives prints. Maker’s marks or signatures seldom appear on these objects.

Weathervanes were designed with even weight distribution on either side of the center of rotation, with a pointer moving freely on the axis. The horse runs into the wind with its tail out behind gauging the current’s direction. The rough modeling and proportions of this work suggest that the maker was not academically trained. Because weathervanes were typically mounted far above the ground, their silhouettes are particularly bold, providing optimal visual impact from below.

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