Horse Tales: Galloping into Children’s Books

June 17 - December 31, 2023
East Gallery

It is no surprise that horses have starred in children’s books for generations. Horses make ideal leading characters—they carry us on adventures, race to our rescue, bear our burdens, and bring us joy. Whether in fairytales or historical narratives, stories of horses touch our emotions time and again.

This exhibition showcases both classic and contemporary picture books exploring the ways horses have captivated human hearts and artistic imaginations. It features tales of triumph and heartbreak, fantasy and friendship. Most significantly, it examines how horses—in life and in the pages of a book—expand our humanity.

Curated by chief curator Ellen Keiter & guest curator Carla Carpenter.

What to Expect

Guests can view 80 drawings, paintings, collages, prints, and digital illustrations by 50 artists. Visitors of all ages are invited to draw horses, guided by a variety of how-to books and horse figurines courtesy of Breyer Animal Creations. They can read books in our barnyard and “groom” our gallery horses. And there’s room for imaginative puppet play in the Giddy Up Theater too.  

Illustration of knights on horseback.
Alice Bolam Preston, Illustration for The Little Man with One Shoe, 1921. Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel. Public domain.
Illustration of boy holding horses face.
Gordon C. James. Illustration for Let ‘Er Buck! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (Carolrhoda Books). Collection of the artist. © 2019 Gordon C. James.

Explore Further

Join us for day of stories, book signings, and drawing demonstrations as we celebrate the opening of Horse Tales: Galloping into Children’s Books.
Members: Please RSVP by June 14!
Create an artwork that moves inspired by horses!
News & Press
Trot on over to see this new summer exhibition.