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Women in sculpture: Cheyenne, Wyoming

June 16, 2011

When you think of the terms “woman” and “sculpture,” what comes to mind? An anonymous nude, probably?

Not surprising, since according to a tidbit in the July Harper’s Index:

Number of public statues of individuals in the United States: 5,193

Number that depict women: 394

One of those 394 women of steel (marble, bronze, etc.) is Esther Hobart Morris, who stands proud in Cheyenne in front of the Wyoming capitol.

The base of the statue credits Ms. Morris as a driving force in Wyoming becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to grant women equal rights. However, a page from the Wyoming State archive explains that there is no proof of this claim.

But Morris DID serve as a justice of the peace in 1870 – the first woman (in Wyoming? In the U.S.?) to serve in a judicial position.

It’s pretty interesting how the independent pioneer/rancher ethos and traditions of patriarchy mix here in the West. There’s a sense that anyone is worthy of respect if he or she can prove his or her mettle. (Yet men are still listed as owners of the vast majority of farms and ranches. If I had more time, I would expand this point and find better stats than these.)

I wish Georgia Arbuckle Fix had a statue here in the Panhandle.

If you know of other statues of notable women, please post links in the comments.

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2011 7:47 am

    Katie,

    I’d love to see a statue of Dr. Georgia Arbuckle Fix too! Perhaps we should set up an exploratory committee and start working on that idea.

    What do you think?

    Lisa

  2. Rick Myers permalink
    June 16, 2011 8:47 pm

    We know a sculptor who was raised in Scottsbluff. She did the bronze in the entryway to SHS. Might drop a hint to her folks. We’ll see.

  3. June 17, 2011 11:19 am

    Interesting!

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