Day At The Track

Hall of Fame equine sculptor Bev Lopez dies

09:00 AM 15 May 2014 NZST
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Bev Lopez, harness racing
Bev Lopez
Artist Bev Lopez, creator of the Harness Racing Museum’s famous Hall of Fame statuettes, passed away on Friday, May 9. He painted and sculpted horses for more than sixty years.

Born in Larchmont, NY on June 2, 1922, Lopez studied privately with sculptors James Earl Fraser and Berthold Nebel, and with muralist Barry Faulkner. Beginning as a commercial artist in 1938, Mr. Lopez designed children’s paint and game books for Grennel Lithographers in New York City.

Early in his life, Lopez acquired a love for horses and art that would shape his life’s work and distinguish him as a major contributing artist to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. His career interests date back to childhood and the family’s long-time involvement with horses.

His grandfather, a horse breeder, and his mother, Grace Watt Lopez, a renowned sculptor in her own right, both greatly influenced young Lopez’s knowledge, ability and creativity. The Museum features his miniature replicas of the foundation sires Messenger, Mambrino, the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerley Turk. An owner and rider since his youth, Lopez closely studied the intricacies of equine anatomy and faithfully recreated in clay their prized beauty and power. His careful application of color emphasized anatomical proportions and the exacting definition for which Lopez was known.

In 1952, commissioned by Museum founder E. Roland Harriman, Lopez created the first of many statuettes commemorating for all time the industry’s great horses, owners, drivers and benefactors. A long-time contributor to the Museum’s exhibitry, with over 150 horse and human statuettes in the collection, Bev Lopez’s celebrated miniatures are rendered with charm and precision.

There will be a viewing Friday, May 16 from 4-7 p.m. at the Hoyt Cognetta Funeral Home, 5 East Wall St., Norwalk, CT, followed by a service 7-8 p.m. and drinks at the Norwalk Inn afterwards. Interment will be on Tuesday, May 20 in the Bronx at Woodlawn Cemetery.

by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Museum

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