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Our Story

The World's Largest Public Art Event

CowParade is the largest and most successful public art event in the world. CowParade events have been staged in over 50 cities worldwide since 1999 including Chicago (1999), New York City (2000), London (2002), Tokyo (2003), and Brussels (2003). Dublin (2003), Prague (2004), and Stockholm (2004), Mexico City (2005), Sao Paulo (2005), Buenos Aires (2006), Boston (2006) Paris (2006), Milan (2007, and Istanbul (2007).

  • It is estimated that over 100 million people around the world have seen one our famous cows.
  • Over 5,000 artists worldwide have participated in CowParade – professional and amateur, famous and emerging, young and old.

Who is CowParade?

CowParade is the worldwide owner of the CowParade brand, trademarks and other intellectual property. CowParade makes its home in the beautiful town of West Hartford, Connecticut.

Why Cows?

This is a popular question. Simply, the cow is a universally beloved animal. The cow represents different things to different people around the world-she's sacred, she's historical, she connects us to our past-but the common feeling is one of affection. There is something magical about the cow that transcends throughout the world. She simply makes everyone smile.

As an art canvas, there is no other animal or object that provides the form, flexibility, and contiguous breadth of a cow. The three shapes (standing, grazing, reclining) provide artists with subtle, yet interesting angles and curves to create unique works of art. The basic cow form is also benign so that it can be altered, transformed, and morphed into completely other animals, people or objects. Incredibly, over 2500 hundred Cows have been created worldwide, but no two are alike.

Who Are The Artists?

The cows are painted by local artists from the amateur and unknown to the professional and famous. The artists are notified of the event through an "Open Call to Artists" process. This process consists of a targeted mailing to top artists, newspapers and television ads, and through cooperation with local arts organizations. The event maintains a portfolio of the design submissions from which event sponsors select.

Below are some famous artists and people who have painted or created cow -

Noted Artists Who Have Created Cows

Peter Max
Patrick Hughes
Jan Saudic
Roman Tyc
Romero Britto
James Rizzi
Burton Morris
Red Grooms
Richard Haas
Patricia Nix
LeRoy Neiman
Edwina Sandys
George Rodrigue
Oliviero Toscani
Di Rosa
Peter Klasen

Architects Who Have Created Cows

Robert Stern (New York)
Lord Richard Rogers (London)
Lord Norman Foster (London)
Professor William Allsop (London)

Designers and Celebrity Artists Who Have Created cows

Michael Graves (Designer, New York)
Kate Spade (Fashion Designer, Kansas City))
Vivienne Westwood (Fashion Designer, London)
Matthew Williamson (Fashion Desinger, London)
Ronnie Wood (Musician, Rolling Stones, London)
John Rocha (Designer, Dublin)
Radiohead (Rock Band, Dublin)
David Lynch (Movie Director, New York)
Federico Castelluccio (Actor, West Orange, NJ)
Vaclav Havel (former president of Czech Republic, Prague)
Marcel Wanders (Designer, Milan)
Karim Rashid (Designer, Milan)
Elio Fiorucci (Designer, Milan)
Christian Lacroix (Fashion Designer, Paris)

The Sponsors

Both large and small companies and individuals from the host city sponsor cows or “herds" of cows.

Cow Purchasers and Owners

Oprah Winfrey
Vaclav Havel
Ringo Starr
Elton John
David James
Princess Firyal of Jordan

FAQ's and Fun Facts

How Many Cows are in a CowParade?

CowParades have ranged in size from 32 cows in Auckland, New Zealand to 450 cows in New York City. The average event has 75 to 150 cows.

How Long does a CowParade Last?

The public display part of CowParade lasts 2 to 4 months. The public display is followed by a live auction, which takes place 2 or 3 weeks after te public display ends.

Where are the Cows Displayed?

The cows are displayed throughout the host city. Its streets, parks, and other public places become an outdoor museum for the cows. All of the cows can be seen by the public, free of charge.

Who are the Artists?

CowParade opens its events to all artists in the host city and region. Painters, sculptures, craftsmen, architects, and other creative and artistic individuals are welcome to submit a design for selection. While the cow sculptures remain the same, each city's artists are challenged by the creations from past events, inspired by the cultural influences and history of their city, and moved by their own interpretation of the cow as an object of art.

Are the Artists Paid for their Work?

Yes, each artist is paid, on average, the equivalent of $1,000 per cow. CowParade has contributed well over $3 million dollars to artist communities around the world.

What are the Cows made of?

The cow sculptures are made of flame-retardant fiberglass and have within them steel rebar for reinforcement. The Cows weigh approximately 125 pounds before application by the artist. For public display the cows are mounted to cement bases weigh approximately 400 pounds.

How Big are the Cows?

The Cows come in three basic positions - standing (head up), grazing (head down), reclining. The Standing Cow is 95" long x 29" wide x 57" high, the Grazing Cow is 84"(L) x 29"(W) x 48"(H), and the Reclining Cow is 88"(L) x 44"(W) x 42"(H).

Do the Cows get Harmed?

Too much public affection, and sometimes vandalism, does take its toll on the cows and some cows need repair during and after the public display. In each event, organizers staff a Cow Hospital to repair cows the moment they are injured.

What is the Highest Selling Cow?

The highest selling cow is Wage Moo from CowParade Dublin 2003, selling for $146,000. She is a beautiful mosaic of thousands of pieces of Waterford Crystal designed by renowned designer John Rocha.

How does a Cow become a Figurine?

CowParade's line of figurines is among the top collectibles in the world. Each figurine is an exact replica of an authentic cow created as part of a CowParade event. There are over 500 figurines in the collection.

Approximately 8 to 12 Cows from each event are reproduced and become part of the collection. There is no set system for selecting Cows for reproduction.

Bring CowParade to Your City

Interested in hosting or organizing a CowParade event? Click Here to submit your application to CowParade today.