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First Four Bronze Statues Commissioned for Virginia Women’s Monument
Submitted by Sara Hunt

FFBS imageRichmond, VA (July 17, 2018) – A visionary Native American chieftain, a brave Jamestown settler, an influential African- American educator and a passionate advocate for woman suffrage and the arts will be the first four bronze statues commissioned for Voices from the Garden: The Virginia Women’s Monument, the nation’s first monument recognizing the full scope of significant but often unrecognized contributions of women.

The Virginia Capitol Foundation announced today that the statues of Cockacoeske, Anne Burras Laydon, Virginia E. Randolph and Adèle Clark are fully funded. Each of the 12 statues in the Virginia Women’s Monument requires a $200,000 investment in order to be commissioned with StudioEIS, the Brooklyn-based sculpture and design studio that created the vision for the monument. The statues will take several months to be completed after being commissioned.

"The statue of Cockacoeske was funded by two generous women who designated their $100,000 pledges for this specific statue,” said Susan Allen, board chair of the Virginia Capitol Foundation. "Funding for the statues of suffragist Adèle Clark, Jamestown resident Anne Burras Laydon and educational leader Virginia E. Randolph came from donations by individuals, businesses and other sources.” Allen noted that the eight remaining statues are in various stages of fundraising and will be commissioned when they are fully funded.

Cockacoeske (pronounced Coke-a- COW-ski) became leader of the Pamunkey after the death of her husband, Totopotomoy, in 1656. She was an astute leader of her people and she made an impression on the colonial officials with whom she negotiated. On May 29, 1677, she signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation, which secured tribal hunting rights and land ownership as well as united several tribes under her authority.

Anne Burras Laydon represents the women who sailed to Virginia and overcame many deprivations to establish a thriving colony. She arrived in Jamestown in 1608 as a teenage maidservant. In December of that year, she married John Laydon, in what is recorded as the first English wedding to take place in Virginia. She and her husband survived the Starving Time and raised four daughters.

Virginia E. Randolph, the child of former slaves, taught school in Goochland, Hanover and Henrico counties. While teaching at Henrico’s Mountain Road School, she developed her innovative approach to education by creating a successful formula based on practicality, creativity and involvement from parents and the community. In 1908, she became the first Jeanes Supervisor Industrial Teacher, a position she held for over 40 years, and she earned a national and international reputation as a leader in education.

Adèle Clark championed the arts and the woman suffrage movement. She helped establish the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia in 1909 and went on speaking tours that helped establish chapters throughout the state. Selected as the first chair of the newly organized Virginia League of Women Voters, she twice served as president and also was elected to the board of the National League of Women Voters. An accomplished artist, she was instrumental in establishing Virginia’s Art Commission, a precursor to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

"These women played important roles in the early years of the Old Dominion’s recorded history and in the 20th century, when our state and country were undergoing seismic social changes,” said Susan Clarke Schaar, Clerk of the Senate and a member of the Virginia Women’s Monument Commission. "Their stories richly deserve to be remembered and told.”

In May, StudioEIS held a 3-day photo shoot in Brooklyn, N.Y., where female actors in period dress posed as the 12 women who were selected to be recreated as life-size statues in the Virginia Women’s Monument. Experts with 3-D scanners will transform the photos into final models for the sculptures that will eventually find a home within the oval-shaped plaza on Capitol Square in Richmond. Images from the photo shoot can be found on the Virginia Capitol Foundation’s Facebook page.

Construction on the monument’s plaza in Capitol Square began in June 2018.  For more information or to make a donation to the Virginia Women’s Monument, visit www.virginiacapitol.gov

 





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