Four statues get green light for Virginia Women’s Monument

Four statues commissioned for nation’s first monument recognizing contributions of women

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Four bronze statues have been commissioned for the nation's first monument recognizing the significant contributions of women.

The Virginia Capitol Foundation announced the four statues for the "Voices from the Garden: The Virginia Women's Monument" were fully funded on Tuesday. Each of the 12 statues requires $200,000 to be sculpted and created.

The four statues commissioned include:

  • Cockacoeske – Became the 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.
  • Anne Burras Laydon – She 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.
  • 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 – She 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.

During a three-day photo shoot, female actors dressed in period clothing to re-create the women selected for the monument. Using a 3-D printer, the images will be turned into models for the statues.

Other women that will be featured in the monument include Mary Draper Ingles, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, Clementina Bird Rind, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, Sally Louisa Tompkins, Maggie L. Walker, Sarah Garland Boyd Jones and Laura Lu Copenhaver.

The statues will take several months to complete.

Construction in Capitol Square for the plaza began in June.

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