“The Legend” is a sculpture for The Art of the Pumpkin: Contemporary Sculpture Inspired by the Hudson Valley’s Legendary Squash presented by the Historic Hudson Valley. It was commissioned for the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at the Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson.
This sculpture was inspired by Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow, weaving the region’s history of folk tales together with superstitions. Sleepy Hollow is known as the region of shadows and for the witching influence of the air. The best known celebration of this time of year stems from the Celtic festival of Samhain, where Celtic people had celebrations to ward off wandering ghosts. In the 19th century, the Irish immigrants brought this festival to America, which developed into Halloween.
“The Legend” represents the love triangle that was the core theme in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The shapes of the horse’s head and hooves symbolizes not only the horse of Ichabod and the ghost of the Headless Horseman but also the dichotomy of America and Europe, a correlating theme Irving used throughout the essay.
The sides of the sculpture are woven with wood and glass. The wood representing the vine of the pumpkin and the glass representing the pumpkin, the same as the Celtic legends have been woven into our culture. “The Legend” stands upright allowing the viewer to see shadows through the openings created by the different dimensions. These shadows create the bewitching feeling of the legend. Your eye ends at the top of the sculpture with a reflective metal pumpkin head bringing to the conclusion the complexity of Sleepy Hollow. The sculpture is 2.5ft. D x 2.5ft. W x 8ft. H.