All month long we will be featuring speaker’s abstracts for the upcoming Equine History Conference: Why Equine History Matters. Register now!
Ceramic Artistry, Equine History: The Unknown Story of Maureen Love and the Kellogg Arabians
Since the 1920s, the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center has been a significant part of Southern California’s equestrian community. The names of horses bred at the Kellogg Ranch, such as the important stallions Abu Farwa and Ferseyn, appear in the pedigrees of show and pleasure horses today.
But almost no one knows that the legacy of the horses of the Kellogg Ranch lives on, in display cases and toy boxes in countless American homes today. Their legacy is found in retail shops, thrift stores, online, at horse events and collectors’ conventions across the country, and in the exhibit at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library during the Equine History Conference. The images of Abu Farwa and Ferseyn, along with other local horses of many breeds, were immortalized by artist Maureen Love (1922-2004) and turned into horse figurines by the California pottery Hagen-Renaker, Inc. Several of Love’s designs for Hagen-Renaker were later reproduced in plastic by Breyer Animal Creations of New Jersey; both companies still produce them today. Collectible model horse figurines have been affectionately called a “gateway drug” to the greater appreciation of real horses.
Since the 1950s, Hagen-Renaker and Breyer model horses have reflected the continuing importance of the horse in entertainment, education, pop culture, and local communities. My research helped inform the exhibit at WKKAHL; this paper will further illuminate the relationship between the quiet artist Maureen Love, the Kellogg Arabians and other Southern California horses she captured in her art, and the people who loved them.
Find more of Teresa Rogers’ work here.