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    Description

    DAVE MCGARY (American, b. 1958)
    American Horse, 1993
    Bronze with patina and paint
    27 x 13 x 8 inches (68.6 x 33.0 x 20.3 cm)
    Ed. 42/50
    Signed, dated, and numbered on base: Dave McGary 1993 42/50

    American Horse was renowned as a spokesman for the Oglala Sioux during the 1860s-1880s, as white settlers continued encroaching upon Indian lands. The members of the American Horse clan reputedly maintained a peaceful relationship with their white neighbors and a local trading post. A proponent of non-resistance, American Horse signed a treaty in 1887 with the U.S. government which secured the Pine Ridge Reservation in the Dakotas for his people, while reducing their land by half. In addition, in 1891 he traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for improved conditions on the reservation.

    Michael Duty, the author of Dave McGary: American Realism in Bronze, notes that, "With the threat of Indian opposition to . . . settlement nonexistent, many artists returned to the theme of the Native American as a heroic citizen of nature. A new treatment also appeared, that of the Indian in noble defeat. The treacherous villains of a few years back were now seen as elegiac victims of inevitable progress."¹ McGary invokes this same treatment in American Horse, where the Sioux chief, wearing a white man's cotton shirt - perhaps acquired at the trading post - bows his head dejectedly, his horseshoe face markings almost resembling tears. Further symbolizing his family are the horse-headed war club as well as horse pictographs on his beaded vest. His demeanor of graceful resignation belies his purportedly witty and shrewd personality.

    The Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso owns a life-size version of American Horse.

    ¹M. Duty, Dave McGary: American Realism in Bronze, Ruidoso, 1997, p. 35.



    Condition Report*: Excellent condition.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2009
    16th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,585

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    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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