Statue of a Dancing Woman

Statue of a Dancing Woman

Noccalula Falls Park

Noccalula Falls Park is a 250-acre (101-ha) public park located in Gadsden, Alabama, United States. The main feature of the park is a 90-foot (27-m) waterfall. Trails wind through Black Creek Gorge past caves, an aboriginal fort, an abandoned dam, pioneer homestead, and Civil War carvings. [1] The park also features a petting zoo, mini-golf course, the Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge (built 1899) and a replica 1863 C. P. Huntington train ride.

Noccalula Falls Park was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on May 12, 1976. [2] It was rated in 2017 as the best campsite in Alabama in a 50-state survey conducted by [3]

The falls drop itself has been run successfully in whitewater kayaks on multiple occasions, beginning in late November 2011 when three expert kayakers ran the drop. [4] The water level was unusually high, permitting a deep enough pool to form at the base of the falls. Local law enforcement, in defiance of federal law that grants access to navigable waterways, has since issued citations to paddlers for running the falls.

The Noccalula Falls Botanical Gardens displays over 25,000 azaleas.

Kópakonan (Seal Woman)

The legend of Kópakonan (the Seal Woman) is one of the best-known folktales in the Faroe Islands.

Seals were believed to be former human beings who voluntarily sought death in the ocean. Once a year, on the Thirteenth night, they were allowed to come on land, strip off their skins and amuse themselves as human beings, dancing and enjoying themselves.

A young farmer from the village of Mikladalur on the northern island of Kalsoy, wondering if this story was true, went and lay in wait on the beach one Thirteenth evening. He watched and saw the seals arriving in large numbers, swimming towards the shore. They clambered on to the beach, shed their skins and laid them carefully on the rocks. Divested of their skins, they looked just like normal people. The young lad stared at a pretty seal girl placing her skin close to the spot where he was hiding, and when the dance began, he sneaked up and stole it. The dancing and games went on all night, but as soon as the sun started to peep above the horizon, all the seals came to reclaim their skins to return to the sea. The seal girl was very upset when she couldn’t find her skin, though its smell still lingered in the air, and then the man from Mikladalur appeared holding it, but he wouldn’t give it back to her, despite her desperate entreaties, so she was obliged to accompany him to his farm.

Kópakonan: A statue of the Seal Woman was raised in Mikladagur on the island of Kalsoy on 1 August, 2014. The statue is 2.6 metres long, weighs 450 kilograms, and is made of bronze and stainless steel.

He kept her with him for many years as his wife, and she bore him several children but he always had to make sure that she didn’t have access to her skin. He kept it locked up in a chest to which he alone had the key, a key which he kept at all times on a chain attached to his belt.

One day, while he was out at sea fishing with his companions, he realised he had left the key at home. He announced to his companions, ‘Today I shall lose my wife!’ – and he explained what had happened. The men pulled in their nets and lines and rowed back to the shore as fast as they could, but when they arrived at the farm, they found the children all alone and their mother gone. Their father knew she wasn’t going to come back, as she had put out the fire and put away all the knives, so that the young ones couldn’t do themselves any harm after she’d left.

Indeed, once she had reached the shore, she had put on her sealskin and plunged into the water, where a bull seal, who had loved her all those years before and was still waiting for her, popped up beside her. When her children, the ones she had had with the Mikladalur man, later came down to the beach, a seal would emerge and look towards the land people naturally believed that it was the children’s mother. And so the years passed.

Picture: One of many Faroese stamps produced with the Kópakonan theme

Then one day it happened that the Mikladalur men planned to go deep into one of the caverns along the far coast to hunt the seals that lived there. The night before they were due to go, the man’s seal wife appeared to him in a dream and said that if he went on the seal hunt in the cavern, he should make sure he didn’t kill the great bull seal that would be lying at the entrance, for that was her husband. Nor should he harm the two seal pups deep inside the cave, for they were her two young sons, and she described their skins so he would know them. But the farmer didn’t heed the dream message. He joined the others on the hunt, and they killed all the seals they could lay their hands on. When they got back home, the catch was divided up, and for his share the farmer received the large bull seal and both the front and the hind flippers of the two young pups.

In the evening, when the head of the large seal and the limbs of the small ones had been cooked for dinner, there was a great crash in the smoke-room, and the seal woman appeared in the form of a terrifying troll she sniffed at the food in the troughs and cried the curse: ‘Here lie the head of my husband with his broad nostrils, the hand of Hárek and the foot of Fredrik! Now there shall be revenge, revenge on the men of Mikladalur, and some will die at sea and others fall from the mountain tops, until there be as many dead as can link hands all round the shores of the isle of Kalsoy!’

When she had pronounced these words, she vanished with a great crash of thunder and was never seen again. But still today, alas, it so happens from time to time that men from the village of Mikladalur get drowned at sea or fall from the tops of cliffs it must therefore be feared that the number of victims is not yet great enough for all the dead to link hands around the whole perimeter of the isle of Kalsoy.

Stormy weather: The statue is designed to withstand 13metre waves. In early 2015, a 11.5metre wave swept over the statue. It stood firm and no damage was caused.

Picture by Annbjørg Andreasen

Watch a short film telling the story of Kópakonan in moving images.


The Greek word nýmphē has the primary meaning of "young woman bride, young wife" but is not usually associated with deities in particular. Yet the etymology of the noun nýmphē remains uncertain. The Doric and Aeolic (Homeric) form is nýmfa ( νύμφα ). [3]

Modern usage more often applies to young women at the peak of their attractiveness, contrasting with parthenos ( παρθένος ) "a virgin (of any age)", and generically as kore ( κόρη < κόρϝα ) "maiden, girl". The term is sometimes used by women to address each other and remains the regular Modern Greek term for "bride".

Nymphs were sometimes beloved by many and dwelt in specific areas related to the natural environment: e.g. mountainous regions forests springs. Other nymphs were part of the retinue of a god (such as Dionysus, Hermes, or Pan) or of a goddess (generally the huntress Artemis). [4]

The Greek nymphs were also spirits invariably bound to places, not unlike the Latin genius loci, and sometimes this produced complicated myths like the cult of Arethusa to Sicily. In some of the works of the Greek-educated Latin poets, the nymphs gradually absorbed into their ranks the indigenous Italian divinities of springs and streams (Juturna, Egeria, Carmentis, Fontus) while the Lymphae (originally Lumpae), Italian water goddesses, owing to the accidental similarity of their names, could be identified with the Greek Nymphae. The classical mythologies of the Roman poets were unlikely to have affected the rites and cults of individual nymphs venerated by country people in the springs and clefts of Latium. Among the Roman literate class, their sphere of influence was restricted and they appear almost exclusively as divinities of the watery element. [ citation needed ]

The ancient Greek belief in nymphs survived in many parts of the country into the early years of the twentieth century when they were usually known as "nereids". [5] Nymphs often tended to frequent areas distant from humans but could be encountered by lone travelers outside the village, where their music might be heard, and the traveler could spy on their dancing or bathing in a stream or pool, either during the noon heat or in the middle of the night. They might appear in a whirlwind. Such encounters could be dangerous, bringing dumbness, besotted infatuation, madness or stroke to the unfortunate human. When parents believed their child to be nereid-struck, they would pray to Saint Artemidos. [6] [7]

Nymphs are often depicted in classic works across art, literature, mythology, and fiction. They are often associated with the medieval romances or Renaissance literature of the elusive fairies or elves. [8] [9]

A motif that entered European art during the Renaissance was the idea of a statue of a nymph sleeping in a grotto or spring. [10] [11] [12] This motif supposedly came from an Italian report of a Roman sculpture of a nymph at a fountain above the River Danube. [13] The report, and an accompanying poem supposedly on the fountain describing the sleeping nymph, are now generally concluded to be a fifteenth-century forgery, but the motif proved influential among artists and landscape gardeners for several centuries after, with copies seen at neoclassical gardens such as the grotto at Stourhead. [14] [15] [16]

All the names for various classes of nymphs have plural feminine adjectives, most agreeing with the substantive numbers and groups of nymphai. There is no single adopted classification that could be seen as canonical and exhaustive. [17] Some classes of nymphs tend to overlap, which complicates the task of precise classification. e.g. Dryads and hamadryads as nymphs of trees generally, meliai as nymphs of ash trees, and naiads as nymphs of water, but no others specifically. [17]

By type of dwelling Edit

The following is not the authentic Greek classification, but is intended simply as a guide:

Classification by type of dwelling
Type / Group / Individuals Location Relations and Notes
Celestial nymphs
Aurae (breezes) also called Aetae or Pnoae [ citation needed ] , daughters of Boreas [18]
Asteriae (stars) mainly comprising the Atlantides (daughters of Atlas)
1. Hesperides Far West nymphs of the sunset, the West, and the evening daughters of Atlas also had attributes of the Hamadryads [19]
• Aegle ditto
• Arethusa ditto
• Erytheia (or Eratheis) ditto mother of Eurytion by Ares [20]
• Hesperia (or Hispereia) ditto
2. Hyades (star cluster sent rain) Boeotia (probably) daughters of Atlas by either Pleione or Aethra [21]
3. Pleiades Boeotia (probably) daughters of Atlas and Pleione [22] constellation also were classed as Oreads
• Maia Mt. Cyllene, Arcadia partner of Zeus and mother of Hermes [23]
• Electra Mt. Saon, Samothrace mother of Dardanus and Iasion by Zeus [24]
• Taygete Taygetos Mts., Laconia mother of Lacedaemon by Zeus [25]
• Alcyone Mt. Cithaeron, Boeotia mother of Hyperes and Anthas by Poseidon [26]
• Celaeno Mt. Cithaeron, Boeotia or Euboea mother of Lycus and Nycteus by Poseidon [27]
• Asterope Pisa, Elis mother of Oenomaus by Ares [28]
• Merope Corinth wife of Sisyphus and mother of Glaucus [29]
Nephele (clouds) daughters of Oceanus [30] and/or Tethys [31] or of Aither [32]
Land nymphs
Alseides (groves) [33]
Auloniades (valley pastures, glens)
Leimakides or Leimonides (meadows)
Napaeae (dells) [34]
Oreads (mountains, grottoes), also Orodemniades
Wood and plant nymphs
Anthousai (flowers)
Dryades (trees)
Hamadryades or Hadryades
1. Daphnaeae (laurel tree)
2. Epimeliades or Epimelides (apple tree also protected flocks) other name variants include Meliades, Maliades and Hamameliades same as these are also the Boucolai (Pastoral Nymphs)
3. Kissiae (ivy)
4. Meliae (manna-ash tree) born from the drops of blood that fell on Gaia when Cronus castrated Uranus [35]
Hyleoroi (watchers of woods)
Water nymphs (Hydriades or Ephydriades)
Haliae (sea and seashores)
1. Nereids Mediterranean Sea 50 daughters of Nereus and Doris [36]
Naiads or Naides (fresh water)
1. Crinaeae (fountains)
2. Eleionomae (wetlands)
3. Limnades or Limnatides (lakes)
4. Pegaeae (springs)
5. Potameides (rivers)
• Tágides Tagus River
Oceanids daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, [37] any freshwater, typically clouds and rain. see List of Oceanids
Underworld nymphs
Lampades Hades torch bearers in the retinue of Hecate
• Orphne Hades is a representation of the darkness of the river Styx, the river of hatred, but is not to be confused with the goddess Styx herself, but she is associated with both Styx and Nyx. She is the consort of Acheron, (the god of the river in Hades), and the mother of Ascalaphus, (the orchardist of Hades). [38]
• Leuce (white poplar tree) Hades daughter of Oceanus and lover of Hades [39]
• Minthe (mint) Cocytus River probably a daughter of Cocytus, lover of Hades and rival of Persephone [40] [41]
• Melinoe Hades Orphic nymph, daughter of Persephone and "Zeus disguised as Pluto". [42] Her name is a possible epithet of Hecate.
Other nymphs
Hecaterides (rustic dance) daughters of Hecaterus by a daughter of Phoroneus sisters of the Dactyls and mothers of the Oreads and the Satyrs [43]
Kabeirides daughters of Cadmilus and sisters of the Kabeiroi [44] or of Hephaestus and Cabeiro [45]
Maenads or Bacchai or Bacchantes frenzied nymphs in the retinue of Dionysus
1. Lenai (wine-press)
2. Mimallones (music)
3. Naides (Naiads)
4. Thyiai or Thyiades (thyrsus bearers)
Melissae (honey) likely a subgroup of Oreades or Epimelides

By location Edit

The following is a list of groups of nymphs associated with this or that particular location. Nymphs in such groupings could belong to any of the classes mentioned above (Naiades, Oreades, and so on).

Location-specific groupings of nymphs
Groups and Individuals Location Relations and Notes
Aeaean Nymphs Aeaea Island handmaidens of Circe
Aegaeides Aegaeus River on the island of Scheria
Aesepides Aesepus River in Anatolia
• Abarbarea ditto
Acheloides Achelous River in Acarnania
• Callirhoe, second wife of Alcmaeon ditto
Acmenes Stadium in Olympia, Elis
Amnisiades Amnisos River on the island of Crete entered the retinue of Artemis
Anigrides Anigros River in Elis believed to cure skin diseases
Asopides Asopus River in Sicyonia and Boeotia
• Aegina Island of Aegina mother of Menoetius by Actor, and Aeacus by Zeus
• Asopis
• Chalcis Chalcis, Euboea regarded as the mother of the Curetes and Corybantes perhaps the same as Combe and Euboea below
• Cleone Cleonae, Argos
• Combe Island of Euboea consort of Socus and mother by him of the seven Corybantes
• Corcyra Island of Corcyra mother of Phaiax by Poseidon
• Euboea Island of Euboea abducted by Poseidon
• Gargaphia or Plataia or Oeroe Plataea, Boeotia carried off by Zeus
• Harmonia Akmonian Wood, near Themiscyra mother of the Amazons by Ares [46] [47]
• Harpina Pisa, Elis mother of Oenomaus by Ares
• Ismene Ismenian spring of Thebes, Boeotia wife of Argus, eponymous king of Argus and thus, mother of Argus Panoptes and Iasus.
• Nemea Nemea, Argolis others called her the daughter of Zeus and Selene
• Ornea Ornia, Sicyon
• Peirene Corinth others called her father to be Oebalus or Achelous by Poseidon she became the mother of Lecheas and Cenchrias
• Salamis Island of Salamis mother of Cychreus by Poseidon
• Sinope Sinope, Anatolia mother of Syrus by Apollo
• Tanagra Tanagra, Boeotia mother of Leucippus and Ephippus by Poemander
• Thebe Thebes, Boeotia wife of Zethus and also said to have consorted with Zeus
• Carmentis,or Carmenta Arcadia She had a son with Hermes, called Evander. Her son was the founder of the Pallantium. Pallantium became one of the cities that was merged later into the ancient Rome. Romans called her, Carmenta. [48]
• Thespeia Thespia, Boeotia abducted by Apollo
Astakides Lake Astacus, Bithynia appeared in the myth of Nicaea
• Nicaea Nicaea, Bithynia
Asterionides Asterion River, Argos daughters of the river god Asterion nurses of the infant goddess Hera
• Acraea ditto
• Euboea ditto
• Prosymna ditto
Carian Naiades (Caria) Caria
• Salmacis Halicarnassus, Caria
Nymphs of Ceos Island of Ceos
Corycian Nymphs (Corycian Cave) Corycian cave, Delphi, Phocis daughters of the river god Pleistos
• Kleodora (or Cleodora) Mt. Parnassus, Phocis mother of Parnassus by Poseidon
• Corycia Corycian cave, Delphi, Phocis mother of Lycoreus by Apollo
• Daphnis Mt. Parnassus, Phocis
• Melaina Dephi, Phocis mother of Delphos by Apollo
Cydnides River Cydnus in Cilicia
Cyrenaean Nymphs City of Cyrene, Libya
Cypriae Nymphs Island of Cyprus
Cyrtonian Nymphs Town of Cyrtone, Boeotia Κυρτωνιαι
Deliades Island of Delos daughters of Inopus, god of the river Inopus
Dodonides Oracle at Dodona
Erasinides Erasinos River, Argos daughters of the river god Erasinos attendants of the goddess Britomartis.
• Anchiroe ditto
• Byze ditto
• Maera ditto
• Melite ditto
Nymphs of the river Granicus River Granicus daughters of the river-god Granicus
• Alexirhoe ditto mother of Aesacus by Priam
• Pegasis ditto mother of Atymnios by Emathion
Heliades River Eridanos daughters of Helios who were changed into trees
Himeriai Naiades Local springs at the town of Himera, Sicily
Hydaspides Hydaspers River, India nurses of infant Zagreus
Idaean Nymphs Mount Ida, Crete nurses of infant Zeus
• Ida ditto
• Adrasteia ditto
Inachides Inachos River, Argos daughters of the river god Inachus
• Io ditto mother of Epaphus by Zeus
• Amymone ditto
• Philodice ditto wife of Leucippus of Messenia by whom she became the mother of Hilaeira, Phoebe and possibly Arsinoe
• Messeis ditto
• Hyperia ditto
• Mycene ditto wife of Arestor and by him probably the mother of Argus Panoptes eponym of Mycenae
Ionides Kytheros River in Elis daughters of the river god Cytherus
• Calliphaea ditto
• Iasis ditto
• Pegaea ditto
• Synallaxis ditto
Ithacian Nymphs Local springs and caves on the island of Ithaca
Ladonides Ladon River
Lamides or Lamusides Lamos River in Cilicia possible nurses of infant Dionysus
Leibethrides Mounts Helicon and Leibethrios in Boeotia or Mount Leibethros in Thrace)
• Libethrias
• Petra
Lelegeides Lycia, Anatolia
Lycaean Nymphs Mount Lycaeus nurses of infant Zeus, perhaps a subgroup of the Oceanides
Melian Nymphs Island of Melos transformed into frogs by Zeus not to be confused with the Meliae (ash tree nymphs
Mycalessides Mount Mycale in Caria, Anatolia
Mysian Nymphs Spring of Pegai near Lake Askanios in Bithynia who abducted Hylas
• Euneica
• Malis
• Nycheia
Naxian Nymphs Mount Drios on the island of Naxos nurses of infant Dionysus were syncretized with the Hyades
• Cleide
• Coronis
• Philia
Neaerides Thrinacia Island daughters of Helios and Neaera, watched over Helios' cattle
Nymphaeides Nymphaeus River in Paphlagonia
Nysiads Mount Nysa nurses of infant Dionysos, identified with Hyades
Ogygian Nymphs Island of Ogygia four handmaidens of Calypso
Ortygian Nymphs Local springs of Syracuse, Sicily named for the island of Ortygia
Othreides Mount Othrys a local group of Hamadryads
Pactolides Pactolus River
• Euryanassa wife of Tantalus
Pelionides Mount Pelion nurses of the Centaurs
Phaethonides a synonym for the Heliades
Phaseides Phasis River
Rhyndacides Rhyndacus River in Mysia
Sithnides Fountain at the town of Megara
Spercheides River Spercheios one of them, Diopatra, was loved by Poseidon and the others were changed by him into trees
Sphragitides, or Cithaeronides Mount Cithaeron
Tagids, Tajids, Thaejids or Thaegids River Tagus in Portugal and Spain
Thessalides Peneus River in Thessaly
Thriae Mount Parnassos prophets and nurses of Apollo
Trojan Nymphs Local springs of Troy

Others Edit

The following is a selection of names of the nymphs whose class was not specified in the source texts. For lists of Naiads, Oceanids, Dryades etc. see respective articles.


Norm and Eunabel McKie of Rapid City, South Dakota, announced their gift of Dignity to the State of South Dakota in 2014, in honor of the 125th anniversary of South Dakota statehood. [5] The statue was erected in September 2016 at a site near Interstate 90, [2] where it overlooks the river. [6] It is situated in the Chamberlain Interstate Welcome Center located at mile post 264 and is accessible by both directions of travel.

The statue measures 50 feet (15.24m) high, 16 (4.88m) feet deep and 32 feet (9.75m) wide. The star quilt held by the woman has more than 100 blue diamond shapes that move in the wind "like an Aspen leaf". [7]

Three Native American women from Rapid City, SD served as the models for the sculpture. [7] The artist began by first drawing the form and then sculpting a one-eighth-scale model. The sculpture was created in an isolated area near the Cheyenne River, east of Rapid City, SD, and later moved to the installation site. [7] The statue boldly proclaims that South Dakota's Native cultures are alive, standing with dignity. [8]

Since July 1, 2017 South Dakota residents are now able to purchase auto license plates bearing the likeness of Dignity. The plates were designed with the help of the statue's designer. [8]

When interviewed nearly a year after the dedication, Lamphere said "It's been well-received by the Native community, and by visitors from all over the country. My hope over time is it really gets people to think about the beauty of the native cultures." In a column published in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Susan Claussen Bunger, instructor of Native American social systems, wrote:

"As is evident through history, humans will ultimately disillusion and betray. As is such, I have a new role model who is solid and sturdy. She literally owns a spine of steel and reminds me of the injustice in the world, but also of strength, perseverance and survival. She signifies people who have prevailed through the centuries. She represents all who resist and strive forward. She portrays a rallying cry for those who wish to be heard and valued. She stands strong and proud, meeting the morning sun and bracing against the nighttime cold. She contemplates the world through a poise of conviction and fearlessness. Her name is "Dignity." [9]

Lamphere's plan is to put the name of every federally recognized tribe on a stainless steel band around the base of the statue. He said, "I wanted something that would really honor the indigenous people of the Great Plains and I kept that in mind all the time. I made the work reflect the name that it has of 'Dignity', and I think that's part of what makes it work so well." [10] On April 27th, 2020 the Dignity statue was used as a clue on the game show Jeopardy. The answer was "It honors the Lakota tribe." The clue was "What tribe rhymes with Dakota?" The contestant answered correctly.

Great Sphinx of Tanis

The Great Sphinx of Tanis is one of the largest sphinxes housed outside of Egypt and is believed to date back to the Old Kingdom. Thomas suggests that Beyoncé and Jay Z’s choice to feature the Great Sphinx in the video is an reminder that ancient Egypt and its history are part of a larger African history.

“Part of the way the museum represents white supremacy in Western art and Western dominance is through a tracing of the past that sees ancient Greece and ancient Rome as the birthplace of civilization and democracy,&rdquo Thomas said. &ldquoI think one way that black artists and performers try to re-narrativize that is with imagery that we associate with ancient Egypt. Museums are very deliberate about not considering Ancient Egypt within the history of African and black art instead, it&rsquos often put together with ancient Greece and Rome, even though ancient Egypt is part of Africa. Beyoncé is a part of a tradition of not only black artists and performers, but activists too who find power in imagery like that because it connects them to an African past where there is a narrative of innovation and power.”

Why the dearth of statues honoring women in Statuary Hall and elsewhere?

When the 2011 Maryland General Assembly session ended Monday, left unfinished was the effort of some residents to honor a famed abolitionist in a space held by a long-forgotten Revolutionary War figure. The failure of the campaign to replace a sculpture of John Hanson in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall with one of Harriet Tubman especially irked some women’s advocates. “I am pretty disgusted,” says Linda Mahoney, president of the Maryland Chapter of the National Organization for Women. “Women continue to be put in the margins or in the footnotes. Yet there is just so much documentation about what Harriet Tubman did. This is separate and unequal treatment.”

But even those advocating for Tubman might not have realized how rare it is to establish a statue commemorating a female figure. Of the 5,193 public outdoor sculptures of individuals in the United States, only 394, or less than 8 percent, are of women, compared with 4,799 of men, according to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Art Inventories Catalog, considered the most up-to-date catalogue of such works. And none of the 44 national memorials managed by the National Park Service (such as the Lincoln Memorial) specifically focuses on women and their accomplishments, writes art historian Erika Doss in her book “Memorial Mania.”

The lack of female monuments and statuary “sends a very clear nonverbal message . . . about the relative stature of boys and girls and men and women. It expands the broader message that the contributions of women don’t matter,” says Lynette Long, a Washington area psychologist and founder of EVE (Equal Visibility Everywhere), a year-old nonprofit group that advocates for gender parity among the nation’s signs, symbols, monuments, currencies and even parade balloons.

Long says the nonverbal signal sent by the dominance of male statuary trumps any verbal communication girls receive about being equal to boys. “Humans tend to trust the nonverbal, and the statues send a very clear nonverbal message. Girls can’t be what they can’t see,” she says.

The first U.S. statue of a celebrated woman was not erected until 1884 in New Orleans, according to the Smithsonian records it depicts Margaret Haughery, who devoted her life to the care and feeding of the poor. The fact that commemoration of women has not kept pace with that of men is not surprising, art historians say, given our history and the reasons Americans tend to build memorials.

Americans “worry about saying thank you to our heroes,” says Erika Doss, a professor of American studies at Notre Dame University. “We want to pay due respect, and we want to preserve the memory because we worry about forgetting. We want to have closure.”

And, historically speaking, our heroes are political and military figures who fought in wars. “We have a male-centered history, so we have more male statues,” Doss says.

Art historian Ellen Wiley Todd of George Mason University agrees. Between 1860 and 1959, an era that saw a large uptick in commemorative memorials, “people were putting up statues and memorials . . . to events and people who were considered to be history makers, and those were men.”

During this time, statues of 170 women were erected, although art historians point out that this celebration is largely generic, similar to the Greek- and Roman-era statues that honor the female form with anonymous figures. Allegorical or mythical female statues of that era abound in Washington, including “Freedom” atop the Capitol dome (1863), “North America” and “South America” at the Organization of American States building (1910) and a nymph in the Joseph Darlington fountain (City University of New York) at Fifth and D streets NW (1923).

As women’s numbers increased in potentially history-making arenas such as politics and the military, however, their marble and bronze representations did not reflect that change. Between 1960 and today, the Smithsonian records show, 184 public statues of individual women were installed in the United States, and 1,440 male statues were erected during the same period.

Michele H. Bogart, an American visual culture studies professor at Stony Brook University, calls the number “surprising.” But, she adds, “by looking at what was produced each decade, we can see a moment where there was a change, where there were more women in statuary.” After 1991, she says, there was a jump in the installation of statues representing women, such as a 1996 New York City monument to Eleanor Roosevelt and a 2003 memorial in Boston honoring Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone and Phillis Wheatley.

Another monument to women established during that period was the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, dedicated in 1993 after a nine-year effort to bring it to fruition. But it didn’t happen easily, according to its founder.

“It was incredible how hard we had to work not only to get a sculpture, but one that looked like women,” says Diane Evans, who had been an Army first lieutenant and head nurse in Vietnam and spearheaded the initiative. “We were told by J. Carter Brown, the head of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., that a woman’s statue would upset the delicate balance of tension at the Vietnam Memorial.”

Change has also been slow to come to the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall, which some historians consider a microcosm of the U.S. statuary landscape. Designated by Congress in 1864, it showcases statues of two distinguished individuals from each state, chosen by the legislatures. Before 2000, only six of the 100 statues were female.

In 2000, Congress voted to allow states to replace one or both of their statues. According to Alan Hantman, who was the architect of the Capitol from 1997 to 2007, the law was spurred by “a change in the philosophies of individual states” wanting to remove statues of “forgotten legislators and battle heroes.”

Although not aimed at women, the new law opens the door for more women in Statuary Hall, he says. “Personally, it’s long overdue. There are very powerful people who have impacted the history of our nation, the history of states, who have been women. They haven’t gotten the recognition before, and I am personally pleased that each individual state is reevaluating who represents them in the Statuary Hall collection.”

Only one of 11 states that has replaced a statue, Alabama, has voted to replace a renowned man with a renowned woman. (Alabama removed a statue of Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, a member of Congress in the mid-1800s and advocate for universal free education, and installed one of Helen Keller in 2009.) Two other states have installed female statues since 2000, although neither statue replaced an existing statue. In 2003, North Dakota installed Sacagawea, and, two years later, Nevada erected a statue of Sarah Winnemucca. In Kansas, a campaign to replace Sen. John James Ingalls with Amelia Earhart has stalled.

Iowa may be an exception to the trend. Last month, the legislature’s vote to replace the statue of Sen. James Harlan with one of agronomist Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Prize winner for advances in fighting famine, was met immediately with the suggestion to replace Iowa’s other figure, Gov. Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, with a woman. “Our male colleagues are saying yeah, you are right,” says Democratic state Rep. Mary Mascher. “They have daughters and mothers and wives and sisters, and they certainly are cognizant and aware of the fact that we don’t have a woman statue there and it is something that has been long overdue.”

Maryland Del. Susan C. Lee (D-Montgomery), who was one of the leaders of the effort to honor Tubman, knew there was a big disparity in the number of male and female statues when she took on the cause. But she says she believes Tubman’s importance transcends issues of gender. Tubman, Lee says, was “an American hero. She’s almost an overqualified individual to be in Statuary Hall.”

Why the difficulty commemorating women in this day and age? Part of the problem is the lack of visibility itself, says Harriet Senie, director of museum studies and professor of art history at City College of New York: “We are not used to seeing physical female figures commemorated in public memorials. I think until it becomes as familiar to honor women as it is to honor men, the numbers will continue” to skew male.

“Public monuments tend to be conservative and to lag behind social trends,” says Kirk Savage, an art history professor at the University of Pittsburgh and author of “Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape.”

Because public monuments are the domain of the heroic, a traditionally male sphere, Savage adds, it has taken decades for artists to figure out “how to represent female achievement in this traditionally male art form. That’s why statuary females are put in traditionally male poses or created in traditional female roles such as the nurses in the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, nurturing, caring for the wounded.”

“Sculpture is a medium of tradition based on heroic events,” George Mason’s Todd agrees. “Who are our heroes? Firefighters, police officers, soldiers — people on the front lines who are conceived of as male. They may not all be men, but it is a masculine conception.”

And it is getting harder to recognize anyone at all, male or female. Since 2001, only 50 public statues, male and female, have been installed in the United States. “The very mechanism for approval has gotten more complicated because cities are monumented out,” Bogart says.

Finally, for whatever reason, women may not have been their own best advocates for public recognition. “Obviously, women have done plenty in American society, including commissioning memorials to the guys,” Doss says. But “when it comes to their own histories or their own monuments, not so much. Are women just . . . being deferential to a male-dominated history? It seems that women have a lot more work to be doing in order to raise public consciousness about women in the course of American history.”

Some experts suggest that instead of focusing on erecting celebratory statues of themselves, women chose to focus on effecting legislative change. “They were drawn away by causes, living memories, breast cancer research, fundraising efforts. The non-physical memorial may have become the more important subject women are focusing on,” says Todd, whose most recent research has focused on the New York Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which erupted in 100 years ago last month. According to Todd, union members and activists (mostly women) decided not to build an actual memorial to the 146 mostly female garment workers who died, but to keep their memory alive by fighting to improve working conditions.

Alexander Sanger, grandson of Margaret Sanger, who founded the birth control movement more than 80 years ago, agrees with this “diversion theory,” suggesting it is the prime reason that an effort to erect a Sanger statue died out.

“We are asking our donors for so much right now [to help fund important programs], and they are responding. Perhaps women’s statues will be like women doctors or lawyers: It takes 30 years after they get admitted to law or medical school for the employment numbers to even out. So perhaps it will take a generation or two after the Second Wave of Feminism for the statues to even out.”

Lee, for one, is not being diverted. “I am not worn down by this, I am fired up. I know now what we need to do, and I am committed to bringing the bill next year,” she says. “We are going to go back and regroup, and we are going to produce a really good bill so we can have Harriet Tubman in Statuary Hall.”

Anna Pavlova 1881 – 1931

A Russian who studied ballet from the age of ten, Anna Pavlova is especially remembered for her portrayal of the dying swan. Isadora Duncan was her contemporary, with Anna remaining committed to the classic style of dance while Duncan was committed to innovation.

Toppling Monuments, a Visual History


History is littered with the shattered remains of toppled statues, and more are toppling now in the American South.

A violent rally this weekend in Charlottesville, Va., centered in part on the city’s plan to relocate a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. A memorial to Confederate soldiers in Durham, N.C., was pulled down by protesters on Monday. Four Confederate monuments were taken down by the city of Baltimore on Wednesday New Orleans did the same earlier this year.

But stiff opposition remains. Debates are raging over whether the statues should fall because they commemorate those who fought to uphold slavery, or stand because they remind us of a history that cannot be erased.

The United States has been dismantling statues since its very foundation.

One of the earliest recorded instances came in 1776, just five days after the Declaration of Independence was ratified. In a moment that was immortalized in a mid-19th-century painting, soldiers and civilians tore down a gilded statue of Britain’s King George III in Manhattan.

That dismantling was more than symbolic. The leaden king was to be repurposed “to make musket balls, so that his troops will probably have melted Majesty fired at them,” during the Revolutionary War, said a letter from Ebenezer Hazard, New York’s postmaster, to Gen. Horatio Gates.

Globally, iconoclasm has been practiced at least since ancient times. Instances were recorded in the Bible. Medieval Christians smashed sculptures of Ancient Rome. Spanish conquerors destroyed temples of the Aztecs and the Incas.

More recently, in 2001, the Taliban destroyed giant statues of the Buddha in central Afghanistan. And this year, Islamic State militants toppled ancient structures in the historic city of Palmyra, Syria.

Symbols — including flags and portraits — of reviled leaders like World War II Germany’s Adolf Hitler were destroyed after a fall from power.

And monuments seen as symbols of European colonialism have been torn down in several countries. In Cape Town, South Africa, a statue of the imperialist businessman Cecil John Rhodes was dismantled in 2015. In Caracas, Venezuela, a monument to Christopher Columbus, who claimed the land for Spain during the 1400s, was toppled in 2004.

These acts of destruction can function as propaganda. What else could signify a smashing victory — or a new and brilliant future — so succinctly as the likeness of a vanquished leader, smashed to rubble on the ground?

But propaganda built around individuals can be misleading.

“Making sculptures into public monuments conveys the idea that history is made by individuals. We have a very individualized sense of personal agency and activism today,” said Lucia Allais, a Princeton historian writing a book about the destruction and preservation of monuments in the 20th Century.

“But these events make clear that history is also made when individuals mobilize into movements and masses.”

One of the best-known topplings of a statue in modern history might be the 2003 dismantling of a bronze Saddam Hussein in Baghdad during the American invasion of Iraq.

At the time, many of the media reports from the scene told a story of a giant statue felled by jubilant Iraqis.

But later accounts told a more nuanced story. Peter Maass, a journalist for The New York Times Magazine who saw the statue fall, wrote in a 2011 ProPublica article, published with The New Yorker, that U.S. Marines who were present helped drag the statue down, in part, because they understood the mass appeal of such an image. He did not personally see it as a defining moment, and he added that the square was less crowded, and the Iraqis present less enthusiastic, than it had appeared in many photographs and live broadcasts from the scene.

At the time, “I had little awareness of the media dynamics that turned the episode into a festive symbol of what appeared to be the war’s finale,” Mr. Maass wrote. “In reality, the war was just getting underway.”

Mr. Hussein was captured in December 2003 and executed three years later. But the country has yet to emerge from years of conflict.

Broken statues and torn portraits figured prominently years later in the Arab Spring. They did not herald peaceful change.

In January 2011, protesters ripped through a portrait of Egypt’s then-President Hosni Mubarak in the northern city of Alexandria as revolts rocked the country. Weeks later, Mr. Mubarak stepped down. His elected predecessor, Mohammed Morsi, lasted a year before his own ouster.

In August 2011, Libyan protesters overran the compound of Muammar el-Qaddafi in Tripoli, dismantling the head of a statue in his likeness, and toppling an iconic statue of a golden fist crushing a fighter plane. Mr. Qaddafi was killed two months later, but Libya still suffers from conflict and political chaos.

Syrian protesters dismantled a statue of Hafez al-Assad, the father of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in the city of Raqqa in 2013. But Islamic State fighters soon assumed control of that city, and President Assad remains in office.

Statues of Soviet leaders have been toppled, too.

One towering likeness of Joseph Stalin came down in Budapest as early as 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution against Soviet control. Pieces the statue were attacked in the streets, but protesters couldn’t dismantle it all. They left a pair of Mr. Stalin’s boots stuck in its old perch high above the City Park.

Those boots finally came down, under the cover of night, a few days after Soviet troops had crushed the rebellion.

Statues of Vladimir Lenin have been erected across continents. But many were removed, in countries including Romania, Uzbekistan and Ethiopia, around the time of the Soviet bloc’s collapse.

Still others were dismantled in Ukraine during the more recent Euromaidan protests — including one large structure in the capital city of Kiev in December 2013 — and the continuing conflict between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists.

In the United States, debates over Confederate symbols have been heating up for years, spurred in part by a series of high-profile police shootings of black civilians.

Another turning point came when Dylann Roof, a white supremacist with an affinity for the Confederate battle flag, killed nine black parishioners in a June 2015 church shooting in Charleston, S.C. Ten days later, an activist, Bree Newsome, climbed a 30-foot flagpole that was flying the Confederate battle flag, removing the banner herself.

About two weeks after that, South Carolina officially removed the flag from the State Capitol.

What becomes of these monuments, flags and portraits after they are removed from public spaces?

In Venezuela, the toppled statue of Christopher Columbus in Caracas was replaced by a likeness of Guaicaipuro, an indigenous chief who resisted Spanish conquerors. In Libya, the golden fist that was once in Mr. Qaddafi’s compound in Tripoli was moved to a museum in Misurata. In Ukraine, the thousands of Lenin statues dismantled in recent years have met all manner of fates some have been painted over, others smashed to pieces, and still others stored in basements.

Officials in Charlottesville, Baltimore and New Orleans are still determining what will be done with the Confederate monuments that have crowned their public spaces for decades. But stories do not end when statues fall, Dr. Allais said. “We should definitely not think that historical legacies are made, or ended, only by destroying symbols.”

20 Black Women In History That Have Changed The World

According to James Brown, “this is a man’s world,” but the following 15 women prove feminine power is undeniable in shaping the world we live in today. These women have revolutionized everyday tasks with their inventions, smashed the glass ceiling to smithereens in the business world, fought for our freedom during the Civil Rights Movement and continue to push for further inclusion and diversity in the media for future generations to come. Let these ladies inspire you to think outside of the box and to find a window when it seems like all the doors are closed. Happy Women’s History Month!

Best known for her refusal to leave her seat for a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks sparked a citywide boycott of buses that led to a law desegregating buses across the nation. She was a trained civil rights activist, who worked as the secretary to the President of the NAACP until 1957. Her trial inspired further efforts to desegregate public places in a peaceful manner, solidifying her name in the history books as one of the most influential people in the fight for racial equality.

Rosa also worked with Planned Parenthood and founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, which uses bus tours to educate young people about Black history. She has published two books and received numerous accolades for her work in the Civil Rights Movement. After her passing in 2005, she was also immortalised in a statue and postal stamp on the anniversary of what would have been her 100 th birthday by President Obama in 2013.

Marjorie Joyner

Marjorie was a beauty salon owner, who changed the game of hair styling when she invented the “permanent wave machine.” Her perm machine simplified the process of straightening and curling hair for all women it allowed women to achieve a long-lasting style without the hassle of heating up numerous rods in an oven. She also invented a scalp protector to make the experience less painful. The perm machine made Marjorie the first Black woman in history to receive a patent for her work, but unfortunately all the royalties and rights to her invention went to Madame C.J. Walker’s business, as a stipulation of her employment with her as a National Supervisor of her Beauty Colleges.

In addition to her inventions, Marjorie worked tirelessly to improve the lives of her fellow beauticians and hair stylists. She did this by co-founding the United Beauty School Owners and Teachers Association in 1945 with Mary McLeod Bethune. She also raised money for Black colleges and founded the Alpha Chi Pi Omega sorority and fraternity to raise the standards for beauticians.

Mary Kenner

Mary received five patents in her lifetime for household items including the sanitary belt (maxi pads), the bathroom tissue holder, a back washer that mounted on the wall of the shower and the carrier attachment on walkers for disabled people. She worked as a florist and credited her father for encouraging her creativity during her childhood. Despite her major success, Mary maintained that she created these items because she enjoyed making life easier for people and it was never about the money.

Ruane Jeter

Ruane was most notably the inventor of the toaster, but along with the help of Sheila Lynn Jeter, they created many items of stationery. This included sheathed scissors, the stapler, a staple remover and many multi-purpose office supplies. Her toaster had a digital clock that timed how long food should stay in depending on how well done you wanted it. This toaster could also be used for bagels, waffles and pop tarts, in addition to bread. They were prime examples of how to follow through on your ideas.

Alice Parker

Alice designed a gas heating furnace, which led to the modern version of central heating that we use today. Her design negated the need to stock and burn wood in a traditional furnace for heat, making the system a lot safer for people to operate and regulate. She recognized the need for this improved design, when like the rest of us, she grew tired of being freezing and found the fireplace ineffective in warming the rest of her house.

Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary was a pioneer for education and a civil rights activist. She believed in the importance of education as a vehicle for racial advancement and worked hard to make sure that young people had the knowledge they needed to move forward. She founded Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls, which later became the Bethune-Cookman College, one of the few places where African-Americans could get a college degree. She also worked with the National Association of Colored Women and eventually became its leader in 1924.

She aided several presidents and offered advice on child welfare and minority affairs. She started the National Council of Negro Women, worked with NAACP and went on to be the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration, helping young people to find employment. After her passing in 1955, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, immortalized on a stamp and has her own council building.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Ellen is the world’s first elected Black female President and Africa’s first female Head of State. During her campaign for Presidency, she vowed to boost Liberia’s economy and get rid of the corruption and civil war plaguing the country. Liberia’s President also spoke out against Charles Taylor’s brutal regime of violence and worked towards getting him extradited in 2006. In 2011 she shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

Coretta Scott King

Coretta is known as the wife of Dr Martin Luther King, but she was also a famed activist in her own right for civil rights, women’s rights and against war. She participated in the Montgomery bus boycott, worked to pass the Civil Rights Act and founded the Center for Non-Violent Social Change after her husband’s assassination. She was a talented singer and violin player with multiple degrees, which is how she met Martin, while studying at university in Boston.

After his death, she worked as a syndicated columnist writing about social issues and became a regular commentator on CNN. Coretta wrote a book and pushed for a retrial of Martin’s alleged killer, as well as ensuring that Martin’s birthday became a national holiday. She also fought hard for LGBT rights and left behind a legacy of peace and equality, similar to her husband’s: “I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.”

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza was the first Black woman to serve as the US National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. She was also the first Black female to hold the position of provost at Stanford University, where she also worked as a professor and went back to after her time in the White House. She has written several political books and has broken down many typically male employment structures. Her heart lies in education reform, despite her childhood dreams of being the first female President, but who knows what is in store for her bright future.

Josephine Baker

As a dancer and singer, Josephine was one of the most popular and highest-paid entertainers of her time. She also toured France and the States as a comedian and Broadway actress. She performed in controversial, revealing outfits, such as a skirt made entirely out of bananas, which made her memorable to French audiences. In her home country of America, her performances were met with racist reactions and so she tended to embrace her French audiences more.

She married multiple times and earned military honours for her efforts during the French resistance. She had 12 adopted children from different ethnic backgrounds, who she referred to as the ‘rainbow tribe’, and used as an example of how different races can live together harmoniously. She participated in several boycotts and demonstrations against segregation, which the NAACP honoured by giving her her own day.

Oprah Winfrey

Media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, is one of the most influential people in the media industry and one of the few female billionaires in the world. She is a producer, philanthropist, actress, publisher and talk show host. She has her own television network and magazine and is one of the most respected interviewers in the world, often getting her subjects to reveal deeply personal stories. She has given authors a huge platform on her shows and has written many books about her experiences. She also inspired people with her weight loss journey and has raised more than $51 million for charity programs. She is a dedicated activist for children’s rights and in 2013 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama for her contributions to society.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet was a true warrior in the battle against slavery. She risked her own freedom to help hundreds of people escape the cruel clutches of involuntary labour using the Underground Railroad. During her time as a slave, she endured permanent brain damage and physical health complications from the relentless beatings she suffered at the hands of her masters. She also had to deal with the mental slavery and reluctance of some slaves to escape to freedom.

Even when a law was made allowing escaped slaves to be returned to slavery in the North, she adjusted her plan and got them to safety in Canada. She used her role as a cook and nurse in the Civil War to gain intel on her enemies and led an armed expedition to liberate over 700 slaves. She was buried with military honors in 1913 and was commemorated with many schools, museums, plaques and statues for her efforts in the abolition of slavery.

Ella was a dedicated civil rights activist, who worked with the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee among other organizations. Spurred on by her grandmother’s tales of slave master cruelty, Ella spent her life fighting for equal rights while single-handedly taking care of her niece. A documentary chronicled her story in 1981 entitled ‘Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker’. ‘Fundi’ was her nickname, which came from the Swahili word for a person who passes down her craft to the next generation. Ella definitely left an impressive legacy behind for us to be grateful for.

Hattie McDaniel

Actress and radio personality, Hattie McDaniel, was the first Black woman to win an Oscar in 1940 for her role in Gone With The Wind. She was also one of the first Black women on the radio. As one of 13 children and one of a handful of Black children in an all-white school, Hattie used her talents of singing and dancing to gain attention and make friends. She used these talents to make ends meet as a Blues singer and a Broadway performer before her career in radio and acting. In the mid-1940s Hattie was criticized by the Black community for accepting stereotypical roles that portrayed Black people in a negative light. This was something that plagued the rest of her career as an actress. Since she passed away, she was given two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

Maya Angelou

Maya was a legendary poet and award-winning author. Her 1969 memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings made history as the first non-fiction bestseller by a Black woman. She won numerous accolades for her books, poetry, acting and essays over the years. She also worked as a dancer, actress, director and screenwriter after a tough childhood of sexual abuse, racial prejudice and family-member crime.

Her professional name was inspired by the surname of one of her ex-husbands ‘Angelopoulos’ and her childhood nickname ‘Maya’. She lived in Egypt and Ghana in the 1960s, writing and working in a University. In 1993 she recited one of her poems at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton and won a Grammy for the audio version of that poem. She was on the bestseller’s list for two years straight, which was the longest-running record in the chart’s history. She was close friends with MLK and Oprah after Dr. King’s assassination on her birthday, she stopped celebrating it for many years.

Ida B. Wells

In the 1890’s Ida led an anti-lynching crusade with her work as a journalist. She wrote as a columnist for various Black publications detailing her experiences as a Black woman in the South, before owning and publishing two magazines of her own: ‘Memphis Free Speech and Headlight’, and ‘Free Speech’. She also worked as a teacher and ended up losing this position for her vocal criticism of the condition of Black schools in the city. After a few incidents of race-related murders involving local business owners and friends of hers, she decided to focus her writing fully on the injustice of white on Black murder, despite receiving death threats.

She lectured abroad to find further support from open-minded white people and took her complaints to the White House in an effort to spark legal reform to protect Black people from lynching. She also founded several civil rights organizations to help women, children and people of color and continued to write and protest until her death in 1931.

Shirley Chisholm

Way before Hillary Clinton had her sights set on being the first female President of the United States, Shirley Chisholm put in a bid for the role in 1972. She was the first Black congresswoman and the first major-party Black candidate to run for President. Her main passions were educational reform and social justice, which explains why she left politics in 1983 to teach.

Before her time in Congress, she worked with organizations concerning child welfare and education. In 1969 she was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. She also wrote two books in her time and was known for her caring nature in paying attention to the needs of the individual. In 2015 she was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom nearly 11 years after her death.

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner was a true feminist and fought tirelessly for women’s rights and to abolish slavery. After her escape from slavery with her infant daughter, Truth learned of the illegal sale of her son into slavery and successfully took his owner to court for his freedom. This was one of the first cases of its kind. She gave herself the name of Sojourner Truth when she decided to fully dedicate her life to activism and her memoirs were published in 1850.

She regularly protested and delivered speeches about human rights. Her main concerns included prison reform, universal suffrage, women’s rights, criticizing capital punishment and property rights. Her most famous speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention later entitled ‘Ain’t I A Woman’ earned her a place in the history books, as it is still frequently referenced today. She recruited Black troops for the Union Army during the Civil War and brought her beliefs to President Abraham Lincoln, whom she still had issues with even after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Diahann Carroll

Academy Award nominee Diahann Carroll dominated Hollywood, the Broadway stage and the silver screen in the 1960s. Her leading role in Julia made her the first Black woman to star in her own television series and scored her an Emmy and Golden Globe. Before becoming a household name, Diahann was also a singer and model. She has been nominated for an Emmy three times and married four times. In recent years she has made some notable guest appearances on Grey’s Anatomy to prove that once a starlet, always a starlet.

Dame Eugenia Charles

The Caribbean’s first female Prime Minister, who held the position in Dominica for 15 years until 1995, was the longest serving female Prime Minister in world history. Before her time working in Parliament, she became the first Dominican woman to work as a lawyer. Not afraid to go toe to toe with the overbearing male politicians in her cabinet, she once arrived in a bathing suit to Parliament to make a mockery of her predecessor’s ridiculous dress code act. Affectionately dubbed ‘Mamo’, she used her big voice to give Dominica back its backbone after years of corruption and political excess. She survived many attempted coups, including one backed by the Ku Klux Klan. She improved the country’s infrastructure and living standards, but lacked popularity for her cold front and lack of empathy for women’s rights.

These women are just a handful of the many who have made a huge difference to the world through their work and hopefully they will inspire even more women to go on and do great things.

5 facts about ‘Worker and Kolkhoz Woman’ – an incredibly troublesome Soviet statue

United they stand &ndash a muscular man in overalls and a&hellipwell, muscular woman in a sundress, holding a hammer and a sickle in their hands. The Worker and Kolkhoz Woman monument was erected to symbolize the eternal union of the working class and peasantry in Soviet Russia.

And, as well as actual workers and peasants of the USSR, this stainless steel couple have been through a lot:

1. Inspired by ancient heroes

The statue was created by Vera Mukhina, the master of socialist realistic sculpture, for the 1937 World Fair in Paris. It was the first time the Soviets were invited to such an event so the government (namely Joseph Stalin) was keen to make a big splash.

While working on the Soviet pavilion, which Worker and Kolkhoz Woman was meant to crown, Mukhina and the architect Boris Iofan were inspired by the sculptural pairing of the tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeiton &ndash the Greek duo who murdered a Persian tyrant and brought democracy to Athens.

The statue of 'the Tyrannicides' which inspired the creators of Worker and Kolkhoz Woman. Roman copy of the Athenian version.

Worker and Kolkhoz Woman, in turn, should represent the socialist state emerging victorious over the whole planet. As Iofan would later write , the architectural ensemble itself was expected to be the main Soviet exhibit. And so it was.

2. Statue suspected to resemble Leon Trotsky

An almost anecdotic event occurred while Mukhina was working on the monument: A hostile engineer wrote to Stalin, trying to denunciate her, claiming that she had secretly depicted Leon Trotsky&rsquos face somewhere in the gathers of the Kolkhoz Woman&rsquos dress.

Absurd as it sounds, it was a serious claim back then. Stalin&rsquos Great Purge was on the rise in 1937 so Mukhina could have faced serious trouble if this had been true. But it wasn&rsquot. The officials examined the statue meticulously and found no traces of Stalin&rsquos archenemy. Everything turned out fine.

3. Rivaled by the Third Reich monument

During Paris&rsquo World Fair, the main struggle unfolded between the two future enemies of WWII: The USSR and Nazi Germany. The two monumental pavilions of the authoritarian states were placed directly opposite each other on the main pedestrian boulevard at the Trocadéro. It was a stare off!

Soviet and German pavilions facing each other directly during the 1937 World Fair in Paris.

The German pavilion, designed by the infamous Nazi architect Albert Speer, resembled a giant &ldquoIII&rdquo (Third Reich) crowned by an eagle with a swastika. Symbols of Soviet Socialism and German Nazism were facing off, literally &ndash a touch of French humor from the World Fair&rsquos administration.

Some critics praised the monumental masterpiece of Mukhina and Iofan, but some were skeptical , calling it &ldquofaceless modernism.&rdquo Nevertheless, both Soviet and German pavilions won the grand prix of the Fair &ndash a tie.

4. Placed where it did not belong

After the fair was over, Worker and Kolkhoz Woman went home. But a problem awaited: As they were separated from their gigantic pedestal in France, the Russian government had to find somewhere to place the 24.5-meter tall statue.

Firstly they considered erecting it at the Rybinsk Hydroelectric Station on the Volga River, then thought about Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory) in Moscow where it could be seen from basically the entire city. But these ideas didn&rsquot work out.

A view of Worker and Kolkhoz Woman monument (front) by Vera Mukhina and Central Pavillion (background) from the side of Mira Avenue, 1959. Mukhina was very displeased with that view.

Valentin Sobolev and Vasily Yegorov/TASS

In 1939, during the opening of VDNKh (Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in the Russian capital, the statue was placed in front of a main entrance, on a relatively small pedestal which was three times lower than the one in Paris. Mukhina was outraged by this decision, calling the new pedestal a &ldquostump&rdquo and saying the beauty was lost as such a low level.

5. Became a cinema symbol and got a new pedestal

Though it hardly consoled Mukhina, her sculpture became an official emblem of the Mosfilm cinema studio in 1947. Since then every Soviet film made by this studio is introduced by a logo of a man and woman holding a hammer and sickle.

The emblem of Mosfilm cinema concern, picture taken in Mosfilm's museum.

In 2003 the sculpture was cordoned off while repair works took place, and only in 2010 was it unveiled once again &ndash and it finally got a higher pedestal (34.5 meters, 10 meters higher than the previous one), taking the total height to 58 meters: The fifth tallest statue in Russia. Now everyone can enjoy the beauty of this steel couple.

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Watch the video: Dancing Girl Statue. Dancing statue. Fountain statue. Statue Dance Like a Woman. Unbelievable