Deborah Butterfield (American, born May 7, 1949) is a renowned sculptor, known for sculpting horses from materials such as wood and metal. Butterfield was born in San Diego, CA, on the same day as the 75th running of the Kentucky Derby, a fact that she claims to be the source of inspiration for her tendency to sculpt horses. The artist studied with Manuel Neri,Robert Arneson, William Wiley, and Roy De Forest.
Butterfield attended San Diego State College, in San Diego, CA, from 1966 to 1968, and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, in Skowhegan, ME, in 1972. Butterfield received her BA and MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1971 and 1973, respectively. She holds an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT (1998), and another from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT (1997).
Butterfield has received numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, an American Academy of Achievement Award, and a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.
Her work is collected by public institutions including Denver Art Museum, Denver; H.M. de Young Museum, San Francisco; Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Meijer Sculpture Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; Walker Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis, Yale University in New Haven, CT.
Butterfield lives and works in studios in Hawaii and Montana.