Images of Horses and People, photographic exhibition
The photographic exhibition complements this year’s central SEM exhibition Sacred Horses – Heavenly Riders.
In the first part of the exhibition, a selection of black and white photographs from the Slovene Ethnographic Museum’s photo library can be seen, while the second part of the exhibition, created in cooperation with the Lipica Stud Farm, displays modern colour photographs of both Lipizzan horses and the people who look after them at the stud farm.
Man and horse
The selection of photographs from the museum’s photo library focuses on the connectedness between horses and people and on customs in everyday and festive life, representing the time when horses served people as the main means of transport and helped them in everyday farming activities. People used horses when working in the woods and, last but not least, horses accompanied them at both joyful and sad events. Professions connected with horses that fell into oblivion with the use of modern working machines and means of transport, such as blacksmith, wheelwright and carter, are also shown.
Preserving the memory and our common heritage is one of the main tasks of the SEM Documentation Department which, in its rich photo library, keeps numerous photographs capturing our disappearing traditions and practices, that were once something ordinary and everyday, but which are now just a wonderful reminder of the past. The photographs were partly taken by SEM curators, who during field research in the second half of the 20th century recorded certain moments, and some of them are part of the already familiar SEM collections of photographs by Peter Naglič, Vekoslav Kramarič, Fran Vesel and others from the first half of the 20th century.
People and horses in Lipica
The Lipica Stud Farm employees draw the inspiration for their work from the stubborn defiance of Lipizzan horses in sometimes unfriendly weather conditions, but also from the natural beauty offered by the Karst region. Working with these horses is a special honour to them, which goes much further than performing everyday tasks. They see themselves as knights in the service of the cultural and natural heritage of this precious part of the world. Their commitment in the fulfilment of this mission and their attention to detail and sense of perfection make them masters in creating and preserving the beauty of Lipica.
The modern photographic material from Lipica’s documentation collection is dedicated to horses and people from the stud farm, and draws attention to Lipizzan horses as the most precious breed of horses in Slovenia. It attests to the numerous everyday stories at the stud farm, as well as the hidden ones that are passed from generation to generation. Since 2022, the traditions connected with the breeding of Lipizzan horses have been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The exhibition Images of Horses and People was created by the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, represented by Natalija Polenec, in cooperation with Lipica Stud Farm, represented by Tatjana Vošinek Pucer.
Curators: Miha Špiček, Blaž Verbič, SEM
Text: Miha Špiček, Blaž Verbič, SEM and Aaron Uazeua, Kobilarna Lipica
Coordinator: mag. Maja Kostric Grubišić
Graphic design: Maja Kocjan
Communication: mag. Maja Kostric Grubišić, mag. Irena Plešivčnik