DescriptionViktor Schreckengost (American, 1906-2008)
Horse's Head 7 & 8, Working Drawing for the O'Neill Memorial (two sheets), circa 1949
Soft pastel on tracing paper
Two sheets measuring 23-3/4 x 18-3/4 inches (60.3 x 47.6 cm) each
Right sheet is annotated "O'Neil" in pastel verso
This study for the O'Neill Memorial is drawn across two sheets of paper.
Viktor's first public sculpture in the round was the 1949 O'Neill memorial in Cleveland, commissioned to honor Hugh O'Neill, who played an instrumental role in establishing the city's mounted police force. Viktor's concept sketches for the project in the artist's estate show that he was vacillating between a full figure of a standing horse (not dissimilar in pose from Green Unicorn, lot 60007 in the present auction) and, more simply, a large horse's head. He settled on the latter, and created it in a powerful Art Deco form in plaster that was cast in bronze by the Gorham Foundry in New York. Unfortunately, the casting was not ready in time for the dedication, so he painted his original plaster a dark bronze and used it for the ceremony. No one knew the difference and the following Saturday, Viktor took the bronze one over and swapped it with the plaster. The bronze remains where Viktor installed it, near the Troop A stables of the mounted police at East 38th Street, Cleveland. These large bold pastels served as actual working drawings for the sculpture.
Drawings are toned overall with scattered smudges and undulations. The upper and lower edges of left sheet (horse's head) are deckeled and there in a small pin hold tear in lower right corner. The right sheet has a small cone shaped tear in the lower region of the mane and a tear in the right edge with some paper loss there and on the lower right corner. Serial numbers "BF19" & "BF20" are noted in graphite to verso.
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