Sunday, July 23, 2017

Farana Goes Home, Part Two

Here's a link to Part One of this story:

I realize that most model horses belong in individual private collections. There are millions upon millions of model horses in the United States alone, and the point of mass-producing model horses -- in plastic, ceramic, porcelain, metal, resin -- is for people to be able to enjoy them. 

Having said that, I believe that a small number of model horses need to be in a place where they can be appreciated not only as art, or craft, or expressions of pop culture, but also for their unique connections to history.  

Farana, painted by Gladys Brown Edwards.
Photo via Western Horseman magazine.

They may not even have great commercial value, but model horses that represent real horses, and/or the art of significant sculptors, can help us understand the context of the times in which the real horses lived and the real artists worked.  

Metal horse and rider designed by Gladys Brown Edwards,
produced by Dodge, Inc. during the mid-20th century,
on its way out of a Southern California estate sale, 2017.
The Kellogg Arabian stallion Farana was the inspiration for this GBE work.

The metal horse statue of the Arabian stallion Farana that I found at an estate sale is one of those model horses.  Much as I liked him, I knew he needed to be at home -- his original home, so to speak.

The old Kellogg Ranch stables have been preserved and
adapted for use as offices at Cal Poly Pomona. 

Home, in this case, being the Kellogg Ranch, where the real Farana lived.  The large stretch of land outside Los Angeles was acquired in the 1920s by legendary cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg for his Arabian horse ranch.  Kellogg subsequently donated the property to the state of California, with the caveat that there always be Arabian horses on it.  After several twists and turns, including a stint as a U.S. Army Remount Center during World War II, the land is now the home of Cal Poly Pomona University, the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, and the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library.

Plaque of W.K. Kellogg and twin Arabian foals outside the Kellogg Library.

Kellogg Library exterior display cases.

Kellogg Library interior display case,
when Gladys Brown Edwards' art was on display.

One of the great things about the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library is that it's part of the larger Special Collections unit of the main library at Cal Poly Pomona.  Special Collections includes resources on local history, so it's appropriate that local (as well as national and international) horse history be included.  

The Library holds a wealth of information -- books, magazines, photographs, letters, and more -- not just on Arabian horses, but on many horse breeds.  Part of the collection came from the estate of Gladys Brown Edwards, the artist who designed the statue of the cowboy on a horse after the real Kellogg Arabian, Farana.  The Library didn't have a Farana statue in its collection, so I donated the one I found, to the Library.

So now little Farana is in his new, old home at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library.  (The librarians kindly let me take a picture of him.)  I don't know if he'll be on display all the time, but at least he's now in his proper context -- a link to a time in history where horses were still an important part of life in Southern California and indeed, the rest of the world.

Here's a link to the website for the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library. #wkkahl

If you're looking for information on horses, the CPP Library has a searchable database:

Here's a link to a video of the old Kellogg Ranch:

Here's a link to a vintage British Pathe' video of the Arabians at the Kellogg Ranch:

Author Carolyn Martin has written extensively on metal horse figurines, including works by Gladys Brown Edwards:

Mary Jane Parkinson literally "wrote the book" on the fascinating history of the Kellogg Ranch:

1 comment:

  1. That was extremely nice of you and how wonderful that Farana is back home again!