News Flash Home
The original item was published from 9/26/2023 12:34:13 PM to 10/1/2023 12:00:12 AM.

News Flash

Rahr West Art Museum

Posted on: September 26, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Introducing 'Makili' by Deborah Butterfield

Install Makili up close

The Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is very proud to announce the installation of Makili, a bronze sculpture from renowned American artist Deborah Butterfield. Makili, is a full-size horse sculpture created in Butterfield’s signature style. This major addition to the Rahr-West Art Museum collection will be exhibited permanently in the museum’s East Lawn, (610 N. 8th Street, Manitowoc, WI). 

Deborah Butterfield is a major American sculptor best known for her life-size bronze horses. Born in 1949 in San Diego, California, Butterfield taught at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and Montana State University in the 1970s and 80s. She divides her time between three studios: her horse ranch in Bozeman, Montana; a large-scale studio in Walla Walla, Washington near the foundry she uses; and in Hawaii, where she created this sculpture as a private commission in 1996. Makili means “to appear through a crack, to come to light” in Hawaiian.

Butterfield partially credits her birthdate as inspiration for her horses, as it fell on the same day as the running of the 75th Kentucky Derby. She uses horse imagery as a way of creating metaphorical self-portrait. In 2022 she said, “I wanted to do big, beautiful mares that were as strong and imposing as stallions but capable of creation and nourishing life. It was a very personal feminist statement.”

Her sculptures are often made of mud, clay, sticks, and other found materials. She assembles the pieces into a skeleton-like armature. For Makili the original armature of Hawaiian Ohia wood, was disassembled, and each piece was cast in bronze. After reassembling the pieces, a patina, or surface treatment, is applied to mimic the natural color of wood. Casting the work in bronze makes the sculpture able to survive outdoor conditions.

Makili was purchased and installed on The East Lawn of the Rahr-West Art Museum in 2023 thanks to the generosity of the West Foundation and the Rahr-West Art Museum Charitable Foundation, along with the dedication of the employees of the City of Manitowoc and the Rahr-West Art Museum Board.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Rahr West Art Museum

Paint Out 2024 Save the Date - Invitation Size

Paint Out 2024

Posted on: January 12, 2024