Explore animals in art

What’s your favorite animal?

Unknown Mexican Artist, Olla, 1970s, TSCPL Permanent Collection

Many of us live with animals. We all encounter and are surrounded by wildlife every day. Children have their favorites and see the charm and uniqueness of each animal. I think it is important to see the beauty in the things around us that we might take for granted.

Murv Jacob, Otter with Fishing Gig, 1990s-2006, TSCPL Permanent Collection

Animals help keep the world in balance. Artists using animals as inspiration helps show appreciation to animals. I have curated an exhibit, What’s Your Favorite Animal?, of artworks from the library’s art collection that includes animals.

From ball jointed circus animal dolls to massive ceramic ashtrays covered in pigs, the amazing and interesting artworks displayed here are examples of these animal inspirations. Some artists featured, like Murv Jacob, devoted most of their artistic lives to the importance of animals and respect toward them. Jacob focused on the old Cherokee animal stories of Yona the bear and Ji Stu rabbit.

Although, we all have different tastes in arts and mediums, it is a universal human experience to appreciate and see the beauty in animals and nature. Hopefully some of these artworks will help you take a moment to appreciate and respect the animals in a new light.

What’s Your Favorite Animal? will be in the library’s rotunda through April.

Intern Curator

Nora Westjord
I’m a Topeka local, and Washburn University Studio and Printmaking Artist, interning at the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery. I have always loved animals, like most people, and thought it would be fun putting together a playful exhibition involving animals and the interesting ways that the artists incorporated them into the artwork.

Hello, I'm your friendly neighborhood Curator of Exhibitions. I have the amazing job of creating, building and presenting wonderful art exhibits for you at the library's Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery.