This Rebecca Raubacher Exhibit Features Larger-Than-Life Horses

A new exhibit at the Biggs Museum of American Art features Delaware artist Rebecca Raubacher and her skill for capturing horses and other creatures in motion.

For some, a vacation to Disneyland or a trip to the swimming pool is purely for entertainment. For Delaware artist Rebecca Raubacher, however, it’s visual art. Since she was young, Raubacher has been sketching only what she sees or imagines using no reference photographs. Her most recent exhibit at the Biggs Museum of American Art, titled “Horses & Other Creatures,” displays dozens of her signature figures in motion.  

At the age of three, Raubacher accompanied her sister to a horse farm, an experience that changed the artist’s life. The captivating smells of leather and straw, sounds of horses walking and sight of their shiny manes sparked a creative interest in young Raubacher. Upon returning home, she asked her mother for a pencil and paper.  

“I felt if I could draw it, I could own and relive the experience. And I’ve been drawing it ever since,” Raubacher shares.  

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She continued to develop her career, graduating from the Maryland College of Art & Design with a certificate in Studio Fine Arts. Alongside her husband, Chris Raubacher, she owned and operated The Raubacher Gallery in Dover for 30 years while exhibiting her art at galleries in various states. Now, until July 7, you can experience the work of this experienced artist for yourself at the Biggs Museum.  

“I felt if I could draw it, I could own and relive the experience. And I’ve been drawing it ever since.”

– Rebecca Raubacher  

Visitors are instantly greeted by an expansive room filled with canvases of horses. Ranging widely in size, from smaller notebook sketches to a 13.5-foot painting embellishing the back wall, Raubacher’s artistic style is instantly characterized for its layering of unconventional materials and emphasis on lines.  

“I love the use of metallic. It has a lot to do with bringing light,” Raubacher says. “When the pieces are hung, not in the museum the light doesn’t change in these rooms but in your house, these silver lines will change as the light in the room changes.” 

Taking inspiration from her daily life, all of Raubacher’s work stems from her family, childhood and daily surroundings. A figure piece hung in the second-floor stairwell, titled “Blue Child,” outlines her daughter tightly embracing her granddaughter following a swim in the chilly pool at Disneyland.  

Some pieces have been in Raubacher’s life for years, with conception dates originating in 1991. The artist recently rekindled a love for painting horses, inspiring her to finish pieces of her own childhood ponies or action-packed moments she witnessed at horse races. Raubacher’s detailed work demonstrates a true understanding of and appreciation for the creatures, as she explains pieces that portray their clever racing choices and excitement to run inside for dinner.  

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Regardless of her creative goals, Raubacher draws something in her sketchbook each day. The pages are filled with her surroundings, whether it be her own pets, vacation sights or the expansive world of her beach backyard. Some sketches are more abstract, including fictional creatures and Greek mythological figures.  

Rebecca Raubacher: Horses & Other Creatures

Each room of the exhibit is organized with a different theme, directly relaying the range of the artist’s sketchbooks and creative mind. Visitors are first exposed to her longest lasting subject, horses, before entering additional rooms filled with mythological creatures, zoo animals and African wildlife. 

“At Animal Kingdom lodge, these giant giraffes and everything are all around the outside of the hotel. So, I got a lot of drawings of them.” 

The aforementioned giraffes are hung in a sequence of three at the museum, with each painting connected by a similar monoprinted background. The pieces, titled “Red Giraffe,” “Giraffe Looking Left,” and “Giraffe with Black Forms,” respectively, work together to fulfill Raubacher’s efforts to give human traits and qualities to her animals.  

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Further adorning the room are large paintings of a zebra, gorilla and cheetahs, but perhaps most eye-catching is the dominating “Gold Lion with Black Form.” Raubacher originally drew the Los Angeles Zoo creature in darker colors, but deciding she was unsatisfied, added streaks of gold and purple that brought his wild mane and unforgiving expression to life.  

Rebecca Raubacher’s exhibit at the Biggs Museum of American Art is truly a sight to behold. Visitors will be entranced by the scope and scale of this artist’s work and ability to use materials such as acrylic, collage paper, gouache, charcoal, marker and metallic elements. Whether greeting the beasts of zoos and wildlife, meeting Medusa and Europa or studying the stunning horses, each piece is personal, detailed and will soon be joined by the art that Raubacher will continue to create. 

“There’s about 80 framed pieces in here. It was actually tough picking them,” Raubacher admits. “I have hundreds and hundreds of sketchbooks.”  

Biggs Museum of American Art | 406 Federal Street, Dover

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