The Iron Horse: Photo Essay

(Photo/Gracie Thompson)

Post World War II brought the state of Georgia what the New Georgia Encyclopedia calls “postwar prosperity.” The boom to the economy that came with wartime production had lasting effects, and despite the fact that the Talmadge camp was still in power, there were more opportunities for women and minorities in the workforce.

The end of World War II also brought a different cultural phenomenon to the state– modern art. The University of Georgia (UGA) hired Lamar Dodd to oversee the art department in 1937, according to the Athens-Banner Herald. Under Dodd’s direction, art became something that was on campus.

Dodd hired Abbott Pattinson to create works to be displayed on campus at UGA, and he created the Iron Horse. After much controversy, the Iron Horse resides in a field in Greene County, Georgia. This photo essay takes a look at the crafting of the Iron Horse and all the details that entice modern day UGA students to make the drive out to visit the sculpture.

The Iron Horse pictured in its field on what used to be Jack Curtis’, the late owner, family farm on April 3, 2017 in Greene County, Georgia. The farm now belongs to the University of Georgia with the agreement that the horse stays on the property. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
The head of the Iron Horse captured from below on April 3, 2017 in Greene County, Georgia. The Athens-Banner Herald reports that the “welded metal sculpture was a new addition to the art world.” (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
The head of the Iron Horse pictured from underneath. Pattinson’s sculpture is representative of his¬†abstract idea of a horse. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
The head of the Iron Horse taken from behind. Many students at the University of Georgia climb the sculpture and pose for pictures. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
Rear view of the Iron Horse from the ground. The sculpture is not symmetrical, so each side of the horse is constructed differently. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).
View of the field through one of the many welded loops of the sculpture. The sculpture itself is cemented to the ground it stands on. (Photo/Gracie Thompson).

The Iron Horse: A Brief History

Located 18 miles away from the main campus of the University of Georgia is a landmark students have been making the trek to for years. Join me as I make the drive and meet the infamous Iron Horse.