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The Reading Public Museum opened the Offspring of the Winds exhibit in 2008

If you happen to be in Reading, Pa., this summer through Sept. 7, stop by the Reading Public Museum to check out a new exhibit titled “Offspring of the Winds–The Horse in Art and Imagination.” The exhibit, which began July 12, features the horse as it has appeared in diverse cultures over the past 3,000 years. With works drawn primarily from the museum’s permanent collections, visitors are experiencing the beauty, strength and vitality that the horse has inspired in the work of artists and craftsmen throughout history.

Highlights of the exhibition include spectacular 7th to 4th century B.C. Greek vases depicting the horse in battle, mythology and everyday life of the ancients. Asian masterpieces include Ming and Yuan dynasty scroll paintings, and rare ivory and jade sculptures.

A special feature of the exhibition is the museum’s unique collection of Renaissance armor for the horse–one of the most outstanding in the United States. Sculptures in the exhibition ranges from the work of renowned 19th century French animal sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye to the contemporary work of Deborah Butterfield, and sculptors of the American West.

The exhibition also includes whimsical recreational uses of the horse including folk art, carousel horses and cast-iron horse-drawn fire engine toys. Paintings in the exhibition include the famous “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” from the studio of Jacques-Louis David, and an extremely rare Sioux hand-painted buffalo robe. A special section of the exhibition features an array of decorative arts from weathervanes to hobby horses loaned from local private collections.

For more information, visit www.readingpublicmuseum.org.

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