Skip to main content

Sept. 4 Art Minute: Barry Flanagan, Large Leaping Hare

Art Minute, Art of the Week, toledo museum of art
Barry Flanagan (British, 1941-2009), Large Leaping Hare. Bronze with stainless steel base, 1982. Gift of Georgia and David K. Welles, 2003.54. Georgia and David K. Welles Sculpture Garden.

Welsh sculptor Barry Flanagan’s hare bounds through the air, forever defying gravity. Sometimes dancing, often running or leaping, the hare is Flanagan’s trademark image. He has said he uses animals instead of human figures because he feels he can show more expression through the ears of a hare than the squint of a human eye. Flanagan considered this hare, frozen in its graceful leap, to be a symbol of freedom. He knew that in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the hare was used to write words like “to exist;” Large Leaping Hare is intended to serve a similarly animated, life-affirming function.

This work is currently on view in the Georgia and David K. Welles Sculpture Garden at the Toledo Museum of Art. 

Art Minute is sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac and American Frame