Lexington: The Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden

isaac murphy memorial art garden_april 2015

Amphitheater at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden

isaac murphy art garden logoThe Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden (IMMAG) in Lexington, Kentucky is still a work in progress and most of the public art hasn’t been added yet.  They also plan to make the foundation of Isaac Murphy’s house part of the design.

The Garden will be a place of beauty through its design and art, and also be known as a teaching place, about nature, local heritage, and the sport of racing.  While Isaac is the primary character, the park will also commemorate the accomplishments and contributions of other African-Americans throughout history- other jockeys, tacks, grooms, trainers, etc.   There will be places for public performances, for kids to play, and for simply enjoying art and the city.  IMMAG Website

You can read more about future plans for the garden here.

Isaac Murphy_photo jockey silksIt is the first park in the U.S. to honor the earliest African-American professional athletes–the Thoroughbred jockeys.  The garden is located on land once owned by Isaac and where his home sat (which they didn’t know when they started this park), in the predominantly African-American East End of Lexington.

Isaac Murphy_group photo jockeys

Isaac Burns Murphy, center left

Isaac Murphy_photo jockey silks_2Isaac Burns Murphy (April 16, 1861- February 12, 1896) was an African-American Hall of Fame jockey, considered one of the greatest riders in American Thoroughbred horse racing history.  Murphy won three Kentucky Derbies–1884, 1890, and 1891.  He is buried next to Man O’ War at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park.

If you want to know more about Isaac Burns Murphy and the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden:

Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden   Official Website

Merlene Davis: Bring your shovel to the Isaac Murphy Art Garden Lexington Herald-Leader (May 10, 2011)

Isaac Burns Murphy  Wikipedia

10 Facts About Isaac Burns Murphy  Black Art Depot Today

The Isaac Murphy House  IMMAG

Isaac Murphy_horse race painting




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