American Artist Series: Deborah Butterfield

In honor of the 4th of July, we will be looking at famous American artists in our collection and one is the iconic sculptor Deborah Butterfield:

Deborah Butterfield Horse

Born in California, Deborah Butterfield credits her birthdate, the 75th running of the Kentucky Derby, as an inspiration for her subject matter. She earned her bachelor’s degree and a Master of Fine Arts at the University of California, Davis and studied under Manuel Neri. After gradating she rose to fame as her oeuvre of horses began circulating. Crafted out of scrap metal, cast bronze, wood, and other found materials, the horses represent self-portraits of her and gradually over her career have became her primary theme.

For her method, Butterfield sculpts a piece using wood and other materials fastened together with wire, then photographs the piece from all angles so as to be able to reassemble the piece in multiple materials. Working only in the winter, pieces usually take 3 to 5 years to create. Renowned galleries represent her and her works reside in international museum collections, making her one of the most successful American sculptors to have ever existed.

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