Youngstown art museum acquires new works

March 22, 2014 by  

Two paintings that have been on loan to a Youngstown art museum have now been acquired by the institution for its permanent collection.

“Horse-Power (Ben)” and another work by artist Peter Maier have been on display at the Butler Institute of American Art for months, but have now been confirmed as permanent additions.

“Horse-Power (Ben)” is a painting of a Clydesdale horse produced in a photorealistic style. The huge work, which is painted on aluminum, weighs more than 1,000 pounds and measures 9 by 11.5 feet. The painting is a favorite of institute visitors and takes the place of another popular piece, ‘Americans: Youngstown, Ohio’, a gigantic work painted in 1979 by Alfred Leslie. It hung in the institute until last year, when the artist asked for it back.

The second Maier work is another photorealistic painting, this one of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon’s race car. The auto painting is 7 by 18 feet, and has been displayed since 2011 in the institute’s Donnell Sports Gallery.

Louis Zona, the institute’s director, said the decision to buy the Clydesdale was prompted by the fact everyone wanted something special to take the place of Leslie’s painting and the horse was perfect. Maier wanted to have his work remain at the Butler, so he offered to sell the Gordon painting as well, and Zona agreed.

The institute could work with a banner printing company to create flags to display outside, celebrating the acquisitions.