Patrons of the Denver Public Library can feed their heads with more than books and movies. The library is also known for its permanent and temporary works of sculpture and installations. It is a must-see during any public art walking tour of Denver.
The Denver Public Library exposes patrons to a unique perspective on scale and size with the whimsical sculpture, “The Yearling,” by Donald Lipski. It is on permanent display outside the Children’s Library on the northwest lawn opposite Civic Center Park.
Initially commissioned for an elementary school in upper Manhattan, “The Yearling” is now a permanent highlight of the Denver Public Library. The work features a 6-foot tall pony standing atop a 21-foot tall red-painted, steel chair. The scale of the size is supposed to remind viewers of being a child when everyday objects appear huge.
According to a blog on the Denver Public Library website, the school that commissioned the piece had requested that Lipski remove the horse. Lipski refused, claiming that it would lose its magic. “I wanted to give kids something that would really be a cause for wonder.” The sculpture was on display in New York City’s Central Park until it was moved to Denver in 1998 for permanent installation.
Denverites have voted "The Yearling" as their favorite sculpture, and former governor and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper is no exception. When Colorado winters damaged the original fiberglass horse, an identical horse was recast in bronze. Instead of putting the fiberglass horse out to pasture, it followed him to the mayor's office, and when Hickenlooper was elected governor, the horse found a new home in the governor's office too.
Cover image by Gerd Altmann is available on Pixabay.