Iconic pop artist Peter Max heard about the plight of aging New York City carriage horse, fifteen-year-old gelding Bobby II Freedom that was rescued from a slaughterhouse, and he decided to give back. According to a New York Daily News article by Samuel Goldsmith, Peter Max volunteered to paint a portrait of the horse and donate it to the Henry Street Settlement, a nonprofit social services organization in New York City. Henry Street targets people who are struggling to make ends meet.
Max’s first animal he saved was a cow that had escaped from a slaughterhouse in Ohio. When the cow was recovered, officials set to return her to the slaughterhouse, but Max intervened and saved her.
“People have their cats and dogs and kids have rabbits, but I fell in love with a cow. It was like saving a child. The cow went to Farm Sanctuary upstate.”
The horse portrait of Bobby II will be auctioned at a fundraiser next week and could fetch upwards of $20,000.
“The funds go directly to support programs that are more vital now than ever,” said Henry Garza, head of the Henry Street Settlement.
The proceeds from the auction will also be split with Equine Advocates, a sanctuary for abused and condemned horses in upstate Chatham, NY.
The word from the horse sanctuary is that Bobby II Freedom is spending his retirement days sharing a pasture with seven other geldings and enjoying his freedom.
Main image: Juliet R. Harrison Photography, used with permission