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Etruscan Horse. Mt. Hermon Way, Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. ©

Etruscan Horse by Jo Ubogy.   Mt. Hermon Way, Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. © Re-posted from 2015. On exhibit at the 2018 People’s Garden Tour. 113 Mt. Hermon Way.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

The Etruscans were one of the first groups to populate the western Mediterranean. They arrived around 500 BC and settled north of Rome in the area now known as Tuscany.  They are a bit mysterious, but some of their tombs and artwork from ancient times  have been found. They were known to the Greeks and the Romans.

Etruscans did have horses and they viewed them as creatures of strength and power. Ancient artists depicted Etruscan horses as proud creatures.  Jo Ubogy is a 75 year old artist from Connecticut who, back in the 1980’s, was working as a metal sculptor.  I never met her, but I spoke to her by phone. She is still showing her art work, but she has stopped her large metal sculpting.

We were  fascinated by her—a woman working with large heavy pieces of steel, welding them together in her studio and making them for outdoors showing.  She reminded me of Rosie the riveter from WWII days when women worked in shipyards and airplane factories.   There are many photographs of those women in overalls, climbing up on the wings of bombers or riveting in the hulls of destroyers, with their hair held back by colorful cloth kerchiefs.

We saw Jo Ubogy’s Etruscan Horse , 6 feet tall, at a small charming indoor-outdoor  gallery on Long Beach Island, in Loveladies, NJ back around 1985. The artist didn’t explain her inspiration, but clearly she knew something about Etruscans, and this sculpture was the result—-a red horse with its roots in antiquity  but with a contemporary flair.

For years the horse lived in our backyard in Chester surrounded by fields and woods.  It was outdoors in snow and rain, but it always stood tall providing a place to land for migrating birds.    Eventually, when we moved to Ocean Grove, we didn’t think we could use the horse in our tiny rear garden. So, we had it refurbished by craftsmen in the Grove and then repainted with an automobile quality paint job, and we tried to match the color precisely.

After that, for about 10 years, it was on display at the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove.  So it was indoors all that time, not exactly the environment that it was meant for.  But now we decided that it could work in our backyard, so the Etruscan Horse is home again  where it can be admired by all.  It will be on display in the spring.

BLOSSOM DEARIE  with a horsey tune from Oklahoma.

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