The Keeneland Library is paying tribute to Pierre Bellocq, the internationally celebrated artist better known as “Peb,” with the exhibit “Artistry of Peb: Fifty Years of Features” that opens Monday, Feb. 5, and a virtual exhibit now available on Keeneland.com titled “The Artistry of Peb.”
“Artistry of Peb” showcases 18 of Bellocq’s features from The Morning Telegraph and Daily Racing Form spanning the mid-1950s to the mid-2000s. Peb’s work also appeared in this publication on several occasions, including his cover page ahead of American Pharoah’s Triple Crown bid in 2015 (see picture right).
The Keeneland Library, founded in 1939, is the caretaker of priceless materials related to Thoroughbred racing. In 2009, Peb placed his collection of approximately 2,500 original works of art, including sketches, drawings, comic strips, cartoon and caricatures of the equine industry, at the Library. The collection includes work in pen and ink, watercolor, chalk, acrylic and pencil on paper or board stock. A number of Peb’s original signed pieces adorn the walls of the Sports Bar on the second floor of the Keeneland Grandstand.
“The Keeneland Library is delighted to feature Peb’s work, which so cleverly portrays notable personalities and racing events within broader cultural contexts,” Keeneland Library Director Becky Ryder said.
Curated by Head Librarian Roda Ferraro, the exhibit in the Library features high-quality facsimiles of the somewhat fragile original drawings to ensure they are not damaged by long-term exposure to light. Visitors also will be able to watch a video about Peb produced by Keeneland’s Broadcast Services Department. The exhibit is to run through the summer.
The Keeneland Library is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.
The online exhibit, “The Artistry of Peb,” highlights more than 120 of Peb’s digitized works. It joins the Library’s other online features at http://keenelandlibrary.omeka.net/exhibits, “Man o’ War: In Others’ Words” and “Photo Treasures of the Keeneland Library.”
On its social media channels in February and March, Keeneland will feature Peb’s work of major stakes in conjunction with the 2018 renewals of those races.