If you have never seen this in person, this horse is larger than you imagine. You have to actually visit it for yourself to get the full scope. You'll find it located at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

The sculpture is called “The American Horse”, even though its origins were in Italy, way back in 1482! By who? The famed artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci's plan was to make this bronze behemoth for the Duke of Milan; it took da Vinci years to prep, design, and study for the creation of the giant horse. It never came to fruition – the bronze da Vinci was to use for the horse was taken by the military and used to make war cannons in 1494.

Almost five centuries after da Vinci's death, Charles Dent, an art maven and collector, began his quest to make da Vinci's mammoth horse a reality. It took Dent fifteen years to complete his mission. Dent's ideas were given to sculptor Nina Akamu who re-designed it and made two casts. Unfortunately for Dent, he never got to see the outcome, as he passed in 1994.

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

In 1999, the first horse was indeed placed in Milan, where da Vinci originally wanted it, and the second was titled “The American Horse” and sent to Grand Rapids, where it arrived in 1999 and placed in Meijer Gardens...a dedication ceremony was held that same year.

The sculpture is 24-feet tall and is even more striking when you see it in person. Meijer Gardens is located at 1000 E. Beltline Avenue, Grand Rapids.

"The American Horse" Sculpture: Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids


Six Places in Michigan That Have Paul Bunyan Statues

The Giant Uniroyal Tire: Inside and Outside

The Horses of Mackinac Island: 1900-1960


More From 99.1 WFMK