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Isbelle, 2001, by Deborah Butterfield

Denis Finnin/AMNH

Deborah Butterfield has been building horse sculpture for more than 30 years. She shapes her art from a wide variety of materials, both natural and industrial. "My horses' gestures are really quiet," Butterfield has said of her work, "but their internal space reflects great movement and energy."

This sculpture, constructed of Hawaiian ohia wood and then cast in bronze, was inspired by the artist's longtime dressage mare, Isbelle. After a career-threatening leg injury, Isbelle recovered to help Butterfield earn her U.S. Dressage Federation rider's gold medal.

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