Joanie on the Pony – Home at Last
Longwood University’s equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc
The bronze equestrian figure atop a marble pedestal and base, known popularly as “Joanie on the Pony,” was returned April 27 to the Colonnade after undergoing a conservation treatment project coordinated by the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. The work was done by Sharon Koehler, an objects conservator in private practice who has a studio/lab in Hampden-Sydney. The project was overseen by the LCVA’s collections manager, Janet Lundy, and Director Johnson Bowles. Koehler also was assisted on the project by Teresa Johnson, ’06, who was the Bishop-Wells Intern at the LCVA before graduating last spring.
The sculpture is a reduced version of the bronze 1915 mon-ument Joan of Arc by Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973), one of the foremost American sculptors of the early 20th century, known primarily for her equestrian statues. Long-wood’s copy, based on a casting of that monument in New York City, was given by Huntington to the college in 1927.
“The most interesting challenge was the reconstruction of Joanie’s sword, which had been missing from her hand for at least two decades,” said Koehler, a professional associate for the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. “The dimensions of the scabbard on her left hip were measured, and several detailed sketches were made to determine the most accurate design for the new sword. It was fortunate that we had original visual information to use as a starting point.”