Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020

Magical new photographs of the wild horses on America's east coast

Magical new photographs of the wild horses that live on a bewitching island off the east coast of America

  • Cumberland Island was the setting for John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette’s wedding in 1996
  • It’s home to a 150-strong herd of wild horses, which roams free across beaches and dunes 
  • The spirited animals have been photographed over 12 years by French photographer Anouk Krantz 

Cumberland Island is one of America’s most bewitching locations – home to the only unmanaged wild herd of horses on the east coast.

The spirited animals have been photographed over 12 years by French photographer Anouk Krantz, captured in enchanting images as they continue to roam across this remote, largely deserted landscape off the Atlantic coast of Georgia.

The pictures first appeared in book Wild Horses of Cumberland Island in 2017 – and the publisher, Images Publishing, has now released a second edition. It contains new equally mesmerising images – some of which are showcased here. They capture some of the 150-strong herd of horses amid their serene sanctuary’s white-sand beaches, immense rolling dunes and old-growth maritime forests.

It’s a truly magical place – with a fascinating, at times bloody, history. It’s thought that horses originally would have arrived with Spanish settlers in the 17th century. There were plantations and Civil War battles there in the 19th century, with the Carnegies buying most of it in the 1880s.

They sold it to the National Park Service in 1972. But a descendant of original owner Thomas Carnegie, Oliver ‘Mitty’ Ferguson, runs the island’s hotel, The Greyfield Inn, which hosted the wedding reception of John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette in 1996. They married in the island’s minuscule First African Baptist Church.

Scroll down to see some of the beautiful new images by Anouk.

The wild horses of Cumberland Island have been photographed over 12 years by French photographer Anouk Krantz

The pictures first appeared in book Wild Horses of Cumberland Island in 2017 – and the publisher, Images Publishing, has now released a second edition

Cumberland Island was the setting for John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette’s wedding in 1996

Cumberland Island, off the Atlantic coast of Georgia, is a truly magical place – with a fascinating, at times bloody, history

It’s thought that horses originally would have arrived on Cumberland Island with Spanish settlers in the 17th century

John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette married in the island’s minuscule First African Baptist Church

The island is a serene sanctuary for the horses, with its white-sand beaches, immense rolling dunes and old-growth maritime forests

The super-rich Carnegies bought most of the island in the 1880s. They sold it to the National Park Service in 1972

A descendant of original owner Thomas Carnegie, Oliver ‘Mitty’ Ferguson, runs the island’s hotel, The Greyfield Inn. He has written the foreword to the second edition of Wild Horses of Cumberland Island

Ferguson writes in the foreword: ‘Cumberland Island is a rarity on the United States’ East Coast in that it moves to a slower speed. It’s a secret you want to share that focuses on life’s basics and is a powerful reminder that “less is more”‘


Ferguson says: ‘We have hosted Anouk at our home next to Greyfield for years, and I always admired how she would set off at dawn so she could explore and capture the island and its wild horses, returning muddy, sandy and tired at dusk’

Cumberland Island, the book says, will now forever be a preserved wilderness, an isolated sanctuary within a world erupting into a modern landscape

Krantz’s work has appeared in prominent galleries and earned accolades from the International Photography Awards and International Monochrome Awards

The island measures 17 and a half miles in length and is three miles wide – roughly the size of Manhattan

Wild Horses of Cumberland Island, Second Edition, by Images Publishing, is out now (RRP £60)

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