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On Friday, March 13, 2009, a collection of rare, original Currier & Ives lithographs will open at the National Sporting Library. The exhibition, entitled The Story of Harness Racing by Currier & Ives, will be on display in the Forrest E. Mars, Sr., Exhibit Hall through Friday, July 3.
This exhibit is on loan from The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, located in Goshen, N.Y. Today, the sport is known as harness racing; its horses are Standardbreds. This showcase celebrates harness racing’s history and heroes. The more than 30 lithographs illustrate, in an artful way, harness racing’s important role in American culture and history. Prints depicting great trotting horses, bucolic mid-19th century scenes and comedic adventures convey a picturesque view of Americana prior to the advent and development of photography.
This show of more than 30 original lithographs features a selection from The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame’s main collection.
I was able to get a sneak peak at this exhibit and I was impressed by the quality of the lithographs. I was also fascinated by the purse offered for the winners; apparently harness racing was a very lucrative field. Look closely at the symmetry of the legs; there is a distinct difference in the pacers and trotters in this early form of Harness Racing.
The National Sporting Library is located at 102 The Plains Rd. in Middleburg and is open to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.