Pictures from EHC 2018

The Equine History Collective and W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library look forward to welcoming attendees to the second annual Equine History Conference at Cal Poly Pomona in just over a month! Last year’s conference was a lot of fun, featuring not only fantastic papers and conversation, but also Cal Poly Pomona’s very own student mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Los Broncos. We’ve put together this album from least year, showing some of the speakers and activities:

As a reminder, registration for EHC 2019 ends October 30; if you want to pre-order a shirt or tote, please let us know by October 24 to ensure delivery at the conference! We’ll soon be previewing the paper abstracts for this year’s conference, so stay tuned!

Upcoming NiCHE Conference: Traces of the Animal Past (Toronto, CAN)

On November 7, 2019, NiCHE (Network in Canadian History & Environment) has organized an exciting conference featuring many major players in animal studies and equine studies in Toronto, Canada.

“Traces of the Past: Methodological Challenges in Animal History” is a two-day conference which includes a retrospective on the field of animal history, as well as new research on urban animals, animal biographies, and questions about narratives and knowing.

The event is organized around the “Avie Bennett Historica Canada Public Lecture in Canadian History”, offered this year by George Colpitts (University of Cagalry) on “Retail Animalia: Consumers, the Animal Anti-Cruelty Movement, and the Canadian Fur Trade, 1920-1940.”

For more information:

Upcoming Exhibit: George Stubbs “all done from nature” (UK)

George Stubbs: “all done from Nature”

12 October 2019 – 26 January 2020

MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK

George Stubbs (1724-1806), perhaps best known for iconic portraits of horses (Whistlejacket, National Gallery) also made a lasting impact on the study of anatomy and the natural world. An upcoming exhibition at the MK Gallery will bring together more than 40 paintings and 40 prints and drawings to illustrate Stubbs’ position as one of the great figures depicting animal species across the world.

A self-taught draughtsman, painter and printmaker, Stubbs’s reputation was established through the striking compositions that he brought to breeding, racing and hunting, and a sense of curiosity and empathy that transcended his extraordinary technical ability in numerous commissioned works for the English gentry.

Mares and Foals in a River Landscape

The exhibition includes Stubbs groundbreaking, forensic drawings of horses produced during an intense 18-month period of dissection and classification. In 1766, after five years of preparing anatomical studies based on first-hand examination of horse cadavers, Stubbs published his Anatomy of the Horse. For the first time, these studies will be displayed alongside an actual skeleton of a horse, in this case, that of Eclipse (1764-1789) – the legendary 18th-century thoroughbred and progenitor of over 90% of subsequent racehorses – as well as the several paintings of Eclipse by Stubbs.

George Stubbs, A.R.A.,
Finished study for ‘The Fourth Anatomical Table of the Muscles … of the Horse’, 1756-1758,
Pencil and black chalk, 36.2 x 49.5cm
© Royal Academy of Arts, London

While known for his equestrian art, Stubbs was an avid student of anatomy and the exhibit highlights the studies, both human and animal, that led the artists towards his last great endeavor, A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Structure of the Human Body with that of a Tiger and a Common Fowl (unfinished before his death in 1806). Stubbs had begun his training as the child of a Liverpool tanner, drawing left-over animal bones, before pursuing painting at York and finding a niche in anatomical engravings for medical students and practitioners, like Dr. John Burton’s midwifery textbook. With his reputation established by his anatomical work on horses, the subsequent comparative anatomical sketches, methodically arranged, earned a subscription from the Royal Academy of Arts in 1802. Stubbs’ work belongs to the work of comparative anatomists exploring the similarities and boundaries of species long before the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859.

The exhibition is co-curated by Martin Postle (Deputy Director for Collections & Publications at the Paul Mellon Centre), Paul Bonaventura and Anthony Spira. There will be a one-day conference, organized with the Paul Mellon Centre on 17 January 2020 in MK Gallery’s Sky Room, on subjects including anatomical studies, horse racing and breeding, empire and portraiture. A version of the exhibit will also tour to the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

For all of use who cannot make it to the exhibit in person, check out the extensive collection of George Stubbs holdings viewable online at the Yale Center for British Art!

Search for George Stubbs, Yale Center for British, Art Online Catalog

George Stubbs, 1724–1806, British, Zebra, exhibited 1763, Oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
recto, composite, cropped
George Stubbs, 1724–1806, British
The First Zebra Seen in England
Oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

References for Further Reading:

A fully illustrated 200-page catalogue will be published by Paul Holberton with new texts by Nicholas Clee, Martin Myrone, Martin Postle, Roger Robinson, Jenny Uglow and Alison Wright.

Doherty, T., The Anatomical Works of George Stubbs, London: Secker & Warburg, 1974.

Egerton, J., George Stubbs: Anatomist and Animal Painter. London: The Tate Gallery, 1976.

Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry Shareback Session: Thursday, June 13, 6:00–7:00pm in Lexington, KY

The International Museum of the Horse and the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry invites the interested public to a Shareback Session on Thursday, June 13, from 6–7pm in the Lexington Public Library, in Lexington, KY. This free presentation is a follow-up to their History Harvests events held in April and May, which invited people to share their stories and artifacts related to the history of African Americans in the horse industry. At the Shareback Session, organizers will share some of the discoveries, mementos, documents and stories that contributors brought. For more information about the History Harvests, see this blog post.

The goal of the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry project is to create an online, interactive archive to house and display photos, documents, artifacts, and oral histories of African Americans who have worked, and continue to work in equine industries. Its users will be able to connect the past to the present. It is funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and housed at the International Museum of the Horse.

Shareback Session Image


Do Unicorns count as Equines? Upcoming Conference & Exhibit on Bestiaries (Los Angeles, CA)

The UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, one of the EHC 2018 sponsors, is hosting a conference on animal images in medieval bestiaries, “Beastly Imagery in the Medieval World”, complementing a new exhibit at the Getty Museum Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14-August 18, 2019).

Beastly Imagery in the Medieval World, CMRS Conference at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (May 19, 2019)

Program available here.


On view at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14 through August 18, 2019, Book of  Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World explores the bestiary and its widespread influence on medieval art and culture.  This exhibition features one-third of the world’s surviving Latin illuminated bestiaries and gathers together more than 100 works in a variety of media from institutions across the United States and Europe, including manuscripts, paintings, tapestries, sculpture, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages.

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World, Getty Museum Exhibit, Los Angeles, CA (May 14 – August 18, 2019)



Conference Recap: Living with Animals/Living with Horses (Richmond, KY)

‘Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, Some We Need’: the 4th Biennial Living with Animals Conference

Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

March 21-23, 2019

Living with Animals is a biennial conference (on the odd years) hosted by the pioneering Eastern Kentucky University Animal Studies Program. Keynote speakers this year included Hal Herzog on dogs, Marcy Norton on iegue relationships in Amazonia and the Caribbean, Seth Magle on the Urban Wildlife Institute, Lucy Rees on wild horse ethology, and Clare Rittschof on the social lives of honey bees (bio and abstract info here). This diversity of speakers draws attention to the EKU Animal Studies Major, established in 2010 as the first degree-granting program in Animal Studies in the Department of Psychology, and its fundamentally interdisciplinary curriculum and methodology.  In this vein, the Living with Animals conference organizers Robert W. Mitchell, Radhika Makecha, and Michał Piotr Pręgowski have established an open and welcoming conference based on a clear mission statement: “In the spirit of the openhearted pursuit of academic freedom, we strive to create an atmosphere in which attendees holding a rich diversity of thoughts, beliefs and backgrounds can come together to broaden the human-animal studies discourse.”


The blue-tinted “Big Lex”, an adaptation of the oil painting of the famous racehorse “Lexington” by the equine artist Edward Troye, to represent Bluegrass Country. 

Living with Horses represents a day-long stream of panels, a mini conference within a conference, co-organized by Gala Argent and Angela Hofstetter. Also in its 4th iteration, the Living with Horses explored the roles horses play in human lives and the impact of those roles on both humans and horses.  Equine History members presented in several panels and enjoyed hearing new and exciting research in the field to follow!

Lucy Rees, “Synchrony, Conflict, and the Human-Horse Relationship” (keynote)

As an equine ethologist, writer and horse trainer, Lucy has studied wild and feral horses in Wales, Spain and Uruguay for decades. Her 2017 book, Horses in Company, challenges commonly held conceptions of equine dominance hierarchies—not observed in horses living outside of stables and human handling—which form the basis of many schools of horsemanship.


Chimera or Centaur; or, Discourses of Modernity and the History of Breeding Practice, Kristen Guest & Monica Mattfeld

The Rise and Fall of the Atlanta Mule Market and the Cultural Work of Nostalgia for Mules in Georgia and the South, Brett Mizelle

The Farrier of Monticello: How Horse Husbandry Reflects Republican Virtue, Christian Y. Krueger


Knowing Horses as Natural Beings and Social and Cultural Becomings; A Prerequisite to Understanding How to Live Better with Horses, Anita Maurstad

Equestrian Art as a Practice of the Self-With-Others, Stephen Smith

The Eroika Project: Classical Equitation, Trauma, and Horse-Human Bond, Angela Hofstetter


From Commodity to Relic: Locating the Sumbawa Horse in Modern Indonesia, Michael Kirkpatrick Miller

Zydeco Beats and Dancing Horses: Music, Identity, and Non-Human Actors at Creole Trail Rides in Southwest Louisiana, Gwendolen von Einsiedel

Unpacking the Palio of Siena: The Cultural Roles of the Horse in Sienese Ritual and Remembrance, Tom Paradis


Equine History Collective’s “Horse Human Relationships in Post-secondary Education Roundtable” (Panel Discussion), Kathryn Renton, Katrin Boniface, & Jeanette Vaught


The Space In Between, Sara B. Willerson

Horses and Cattle, Erin McKenna

Teaching Cowgirl Stories: The Rhetoric of Freedom, Ashley Wells


Straight Outta Barbary: Arabian Wild Horses and Their Racialized Representation in Sixteenth Century Literature, Jonathan W. Thurston

Moons Revolve, Moons Adore, Lee Deigaard

The “Read Horse” – Exploring the Possibility of Projection Mapping as an Equinebased Science-Art Worlding, Tamar V. S. McKee


Tourists’ Intrigue with Free-Roaming Horses, Ginny Grulke

Utilizing Horses for Therapy and Companionship in Order to Enhance their Adoptability, Karen Gustin

Tools for Protecting Endangered Equine Breeds, Victoria Tollman

Preserving an Historical Legacy: The Mountain Horse Oral History Project, Stephanie McSpirit, Neil Kasiak, Chad Cogdill, & Dan Renfrow