PPAC #23: Pony Express Statue in Old Sacramento Historic State Park


Public art encompasses any form of art you see in a public place, large or small, statues, murals, graffiti, gardens, parks, etc. The art should be visible from streets, sidewalks, or outdoor public places. Let your imagination and photographic eye show us diverse samples all over the world.

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Last week for PPAC #22, I had a marvelous response from all of you. I want to say thank you to each of you for joining along in our challenge.  Here are the featured bloggers for this week.  Their posts really grabbed my attention. They are all worthy of a second or third look.

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FEATURED BLOGGERS

Our Other Blog: Two Sisters
LifeLessons
Anthropologist
Priorhouse.blog
BabsjeHeron

Cee is taking a well-deserved break this week from PPAC and will be back on board next week.

A Tiny Bit for Natalie’s Coffee Share

On Tuesday my teddy bear, Manny and I hosted a Lens-Artist guest host for the Challenge Host Interview Series. Our guest, along with his Mom, Ma Leueen, was a well-known talking and “blobbing” horse named Biasini from The Horse Addict. “Blobbing” is Biasini’s way of saying blogging. Manny was quite enamored with Biasini’s word and it’s become a household focus of conversation this week.

My Choices for PPAC #23

Using my Canon Rebel XTi, I took these photos during a 2012 Teaching American History Grant field trip. What a fun time we had with teachers from Tulare County and professors from UC Davis learning U.S. history very near to home. When I found these photos of a hard-working Pony Express horse and rider, I thought it was appropriate to make this week all about horses, one statue in particular.

Pony Express Statue in Old Sacramento State Historic Park

The intense look on the rider’s face caught my attention. The rider is so tiny and you know he didn’t make many stops or eat very often. The mail had to get through!

A few statue details

  • Location: 2nd Street and J Street in Sacramento, California
  • The bronze statue was sculpted by Thomas Holland
  • “The Pony Express rider’s clothes were based on a paragraph in Mark Twain’s book Roughing It, published in 1872. 
  • Rider’s saddle and Mochilla  (what they carried the mail in) were modeled after originals that are in the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. 
  • Bit and bridle were designed after military “tack” of the 1850s.
  • The sculptor gave him a wide brimmed hat instead of a skull cap, which the riders usually wore.
  • Statue took over 2 years to design and build, including 9 months casting and finishing by Vianello Art Bronzes.” California Department of Parks and Recreation

Originally taken in color and as the entire statue, I wanted to draw attention to how tired both the rider and animal looked by cropping the body and leaving just the faces. The average delivery time for the Pony Express traveling 1,800 miles was ten days. You can almost see that in their panting faces.

Recently, I read that off-horizon pictures weren’t cool. I was trying to be artistic, and in color, this picture is too busy. So I played with it in Adobe Bridge giving it the preset black and white treatment called Infrared then I adjusted the exposure to remove some of the shadows. I think it brings more emphasis to the statue.

Now it’s your turn.

Take us for a spin around your world to see the public art you love and tell us your stories if you like.


69 responses to “PPAC #23: Pony Express Statue in Old Sacramento Historic State Park”

  1. PPAC: #26 – At Christmas at Nightime – Cee's Photo Challenges Avatar

    […] had a marvelous response from all of you on last week’s PPAC #23. Marsha picked out the featured bloggers and says “thank you” to each of you for joining […]

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  2. Julie Avatar

    I learned about the Pony Express when I was in elementary school. Going all that distance by horse sounds exhausting. I get exhausted driving more than 2 hours anywhere and it’s from the comfort of my own car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      LOL, I do too, Julie, and always have.

      Like

  3. PPAC: #24 – nowathome Avatar

    […] Ingrao from Always Write blog and Cee Neuner are co-hosting challenge to bring together two very different aspects of seeing the world. […]

    Like

  4. PPAC: #24 – nowathome Avatar

    […] Ingrao from Always Write blog and Cee Neuner are co-hosting challenge to bring together two very different aspects of seeing the world. […]

    Like

  5. […] Photographing Public Art Challenge hosted by Cee’s Photo Challenges & Marsha at Always Write […]

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  6. PPAC: #24 – Small Town Art – Cee's Photo Challenges Avatar

    […] had a marvelous response from all of you on last week’s PPAC #23. Marsha picked out the featured bloggers and says “thank you” to each of you for joining along […]

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    1. Marsha Avatar

      LOVE it! Very colorful! 🙂

      Like

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Cee.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Cee. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. mariawijk Avatar

    That must have been hard on both the riders and their horses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I had to be, I think, Maria. 🙂 Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      Like

  8. […] These Water Lily were part of an annual light festival. For PPAC #23. […]

    Like

  9. 42265. Chasing Waterfalls: Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia Gorge, Washington • One Million Photographs Avatar

    […] Chasing Waterfalls: Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia Gorge, Washington […]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. PPAC: #23 – Bridges – Cee's Photo Challenges Avatar

    […] Here is my entry for Marsha’s, Always Write blog, PPAC #23. […]

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  11. Sassafras – My Camera & I Avatar

    […] are some public art, some chairs and some windows for this week’s […]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Overlooking the Marina on a rainy day — Pull Up a Seat #47 and PPAC #23 – Photos by Jez Avatar

    […] Pull Up a Seat Challenge. There’s also a sculpture by the seat, so this is also my entry for PPAC, hosted this week by Marsha. There is no explanation for the sculpture; to me though it looks like the ruins of a church, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Photos by Jez Avatar

    Your captures of the statue are fantastic & really showcase what the sculpturer was trying to portray 😃 Here’s mine: https://jezbraithwaite.blog/2021/11/22/overlooking-the-marina-on-a-rainy-day-pull-up-a-seat-47-and-ppac-23/

    Liked by 1 person

  14. PPAC: #23 – nowathome Avatar

    […] Ingrao from Always Write blog and Cee Neuner are co-hosting challenge to bring together two very different aspects of […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Excellent post, Philo! 🙂

      Like

  15. philosophy through photography Avatar

    Love the horse and the rider.
    Great art!
    Love the various angles-you took the clicks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Isn’t it fabulous? Such art! I didn’t even appreciate it enough when I was taking the pictures, but only when I went back and shared it for PPAC and did a bit of research. It made me think of the impossible task that those young men and horses had and for what we do with the click of a finger now. We can communicate around the world in seconds. Was it worth all those lives and energy? It must have been. We have spent more time improving transportation and communication so that we can live farther and farther apart from those we love and still stay close. Ironic isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. philosophy through photography Avatar

        It’s fabulous.
        We never realize the hardship the sculptures undergone to bring out the wonder!
        I fully agree with your thoughts on communicating with the entire world spreading the message of hardship along with beauty.
        🙏🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Thanks, Philo. 🙂 It hit me in the face when I looked at the photos. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  16. […] Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Marsha at Always Write & Cee at Cee’s Photo Challenges […]

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  17. Toonsarah Avatar

    This looks great, very expressive work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I’m finding these wonderful shots in my archives. Glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Jim Borden Avatar

    great job with the photo…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Jim! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Very interesting, Tgeriatrix!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. babsje Avatar

    Hi Marsha

    That is a superb choice of the Pony Express Statue in Old Sacramento Historic State Park for your challenge this week and your photos are great captures. Rendering in b&w really brings out the details – look at those muscles and sinews straining! I liked that you included your commentary about your post-processing techniques. Plus I adore seeing Manny at the keyboard.

    And a big thank-you for including my Herons as one of the Featured Bloggers, what a thoughtful gesture.

    Here’s an offering from me for this week’s PPAC challenge:

    https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com/2021/11/20/tunnels-of-great-blue-heron-love/

    Best, Babsje

    Liked by 1 person

  20. […] to Cee and Marsha for their jointly hosted PPAC from Marsha: Photographing Public Art Challenge #23. And here’s PPAC from Cee: Photographing Public Art Challenge. . . Thanks to Cee for her […]

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    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for playing along, Babsje. 🙂

      Like

  21. Taswegian1957 Avatar

    That’s a fabulous statue. It has so much character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Tas. 🙂

      Like

  22. anne leueen Avatar

    The statue is a wonderful one! It may never move but there is so much movement and energy in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Manny and I thought you would love it. It is an amazing statue, and gave me so much more appreciation of what our forefathers expected of animals and people to fulfil the task of cross country communication. Whew!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. anthropologist Avatar

    Wow! That’s quite a sculpture. It’s so powerful. You’re right that the rider is tiny, but he must have been strong.

    I’m still playing catch-up: https://anthropologist.wordpress.com/2021/11/19/photographing-public-art-challenge-ppac-14-christmas-decorations-london-december-2018/

    Like

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Yes, I agree! 🙂

      Like

    2. Marsha Avatar

      A very cheery post, Anthropologist. Thanks again for sharing some early Christmas cheer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anthropologist Avatar

        I loved your pony rider at Old Sacramento State Park. I’ll see it next time I’m in Sac!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          He’s well worth a visit. Be sure to snap some pictures. I took pictures mid-day in summer, so the lighting was less than stellar.

          Liked by 1 person

  24. Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 14: Christmas Decorations, London, December 2018 | Kanlaon Avatar

    […] Still playing catch-up with the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao. From Marsha’s blog, Always Writes: […]

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  25. Cath Moore Avatar

    great photo’s Marsha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Cath. I’m honored. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Natalie Avatar

    Beautiful statue and close-up photos, Marsha. I appreciate your explanations. I hope you’re doing well.

    Here’s my contribution: https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/11/19/recent-reads-and-bench-art/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Hi Natalie, I’m pretty good. I still need one more surgery, I found out this morning. So I’m a little bummed, but I feel great! 🙂

      Like

    2. Marsha Avatar

      Truely unique benches. Thanks for joining us at PPAC. I love the Don’t talk the talk but walk the walk piece best. They are all amazing.

      Like

  27. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

    Hi, fellow blobbers! Here, let me take you all to church, to a few of them in Piran on the Slovenian coast. A new art series from this town commences!

    https://manjameximexcessive6.wordpress.com/2021/11/19/ppac-piran-1-church-art/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I already like you Miss Manja, and I haven’t even read your post. Love Manny xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  28. PPAC: Piran 1. – Church art – An Embarrassment of Riches Avatar

    […] For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Marsha at Always Write […]

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  29. Cee Neuner Avatar

    These are great photos. The pony express those guys and horses ran hard and fast. 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Yes, they did.

      Like

  30. robertawrites235681907 Avatar

    I do know about the pony express and how hard it was on the men and animals involved. A great piece of artwork and the close up is very effective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Roberta. The full statue wasn’t as good head on.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. floridaborne Avatar

    I remember reading about how hard it was on both the horse and rider. It only lasted 1 1/2 years, until the telegraph was available. Then, it went bankrupt. There were around 186 Pony Express stations that were about 10 miles apart. A letter cost 2 cents to send, while a letter via pony express was around $5. In today’s costs, a letter is 53 cents — so that in our time the cost for pony express would have been $120.

    I thought it very interesting that Billy Tate, a 14-year-old Pony Express rider, rode the express trail in Nevada near Ruby Valley. During the Paiute uprising of 1860, he was chased by a band of Paiute Indians on horseback and forced to retreat into the hills behind some rocks. He killed seven of his assailants in a shoot-out before being killed himself. His body was found riddled with arrows. He wasn’t scalped, a sign that the Paiutes honored their enemy.

    And we think we have it bad today? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Amen! Just seeing this statue really made me think. So much technology changed the country at that time causing the Pony Express to go bankrupt, but it was such a dangerous occupation that it was a blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

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