Iron Horse (sculpture)

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Iron Horse
Iron Horse is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Iron Horse
Iron Horse
Iron Horse is located in the United States
Iron Horse
Iron Horse
ArtistAbbott Pattison
Year1954 (1954)
Dimensions370 cm (144 in)
LocationGreene County, Georgia, U.S.
Coordinates33°43′37″N 83°18′03″W / 33.72690°N 83.30092°W / 33.72690; -83.30092Coordinates: 33°43′37″N 83°18′03″W / 33.72690°N 83.30092°W / 33.72690; -83.30092

Iron Horse (also known as Pegasus Without Wings)[1][2] is a 2-ton, 12-foot-tall iron sculpture created by Abbott Pattison.[3] Although the sculpture was not well-received at first, as of the second decade of the twenty-first century it is visited by many tourists and University of Georgia students.[2][4]


On May 25, 1954, Abbott Pattison, then a sculptor in residence at the University of Georgia, produced the sculpture while at the University and initially placed it there outside Reed Hall.[3] However, after the sculpture was vandalized by disgruntled students, the sculpture was secretly moved to a barn. It remained there before horticulture professor L.C. Curtis moved it to his farm near Watkinsville, Georgia in 1959.[2][5][6][7] In an interview with The New York Times in 1979, Curtis claimed that he wanted the sculpture from Lamar Dodd, the chairman of the art department at the time, because "I collect conversation pieces. I'm a little bit of an eccentric."[8] In 2011, the sculpture was vandalized once again. Afterwards, a secret group restored the horse.[9] Later the Curtis family had the sculpture bolted to a concrete pad because periodically people would knock it over.[3] Around 2012 the Curtis family sold approximately 650 acres of the farm to the University of Georgia, but retained a 20-foot by 20-foot section where the horse they then owned stood. Subsequently, the Curtis family offered to deed the horse and remaining 400 square feet to the University on the condition the horse stayed in place; however, the University insisted that the sculpture be returned to campus. As of January 2020 the matter had not been resolved.[3]


In 2014, the University of Georgia named the approximately 650 acre portion of the farm it purchased the "Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm" in honor of the sculpture. The university uses the farm for agricultural research.[10] In February 2017, a study created at the farm was released, which consisted of the use of drones to analyze the genetic data found in crop yields.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

The early history of the sculpture was depicted in the 1962 National Educational Television film, Pegasus Without Wings[12][13] as well as the 1980 William VanDerKloot documentary, Iron Horse.[5][14][15] The sculpture has its own TripAdvisor page.[16][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shearer, Lee (September 20, 1999). "Body found stabbed, burned". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Shearer, Lee (June 3, 2015). "Iconic Iron Horse's hooves eaten by rust, but will be repaired". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Bentley, Rosalind (January 22, 2020). "Fate of the Iron Horse, a contentious UGA icon, is again up in the air". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on 19 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  4. ^ McDonald, Casey (August 1, 2016). "Athens quirks: Finding the eccentricities of the Classic City". The Red and Black. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Jordan, Julie Phillips (February 27, 1999). "The Iron Horse still standing proudly". Archived from the original on July 2, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  6. ^ Smith, Abigail (March 7, 2002). "Decades pass, Iron Horse still lives". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  7. ^ Giles, Blake (October 2, 2014). "Iron Horse broken hearted: Jack Curtis dies". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Times, Special To The New York (November 4, 1979). "Iron Horse Disliked by Students Is Rusting in a Georgia Pasture". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Ford, Wayne (November 15, 2011). "Iron Horse vandalized, then restored by secret group". Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  10. ^ Shearer, Lee (September 24, 2014). "UGA, Iron Horse finally find common ground". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  11. ^ Wooten, Mike (February 9, 2017). "Scientists use robots, drones to accelerate plant genetic research, improve crop yield". Science Daily. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "Session Details". Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  13. ^ "National Educational Television (NET) Collection Catalog Project".
  14. ^ Oney, Steve (February 8, 1981). "The Alien Work of Art". The Atlanta Constitution. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  15. ^ Smith, Jessica (November 5, 2014). "Spotlight on the Arts". Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "Iron Horse (Athens)". TripAdvisor LLC. Retrieved 19 July 2020.

External links[edit]