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Women's Public Art & Architecture:

1893 Chicago World's Fair and Exposition


Continued--page 3




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Horticultural Building's Statuary and Taft's 'White Rabbits'


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The Sleep of the Flowers (left side) and The
Awakening [or Battle] of the Flowers
(right side)--
entryway statuary, Horticultural Building, by head
sculptor Larado Taft and two of his female students,
Julie Bracken Wendt and Bessie Potter Vonnoh.
Supposedly, Julie Bracken Wendt did most of the work
on The Awakening statuary.


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The Sleep of the Flowers--
statuary group on left-side of the
Horticultural Building entryway.

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The Awakening of the Flowers
(or Battle of the Flowers)--
statuary group on right-side of the
Horticultural Building entryway.


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Taft's 'White Rabbits' assisting in preparing The Sleep of the
Flowers
(center front) and other statuary for display.


The story behind the Larado Taft's women student assistants or "White Rabbits" has often been told: "As the date of the fair's opening grew closer Taft realized that he would not be able to complete the decorations and discovering that all the male sculptors to be had were already employed elsewhere, he asked [Daniel] Burnham, [head architect] if he could use women assistants, an occurrence that was virtually unheard of at that time. Burnham's reply was that Taft could 'Hire anyone, even white rabbits, if they can get the work done.' Taft, an instructor of sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute, who had many qualified women students and who frequently employed women assistants himself, brought in a group of women assistants who were promptly dubbed 'the White Rabbits.' " The six talented women who gained valuable experience as 'White Rabbits' were Enid Yandell, Carol Brooks MacNeil, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, Janet Scudder, Julia Bracken, and Taft's sister Zulime. (source)




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Administration Building Statuary: Tonetti's "Columbus"


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Figure of Columbus planting the Spanish flag in the New World--
by Mary T. Lawrence (Tonetti) and exhibited in the entrance
of the Administration Building, 1893 Exposition.
For more information, see Mary Lawrence Tonetti.



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Kentucky State Building Statuary: Yandell's "Daniel Boone"


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Daniel Boone--commissioned statue by Enid Yandell.
See Boone statue outside the Kentucky Building (right-side of
photo; click to enlarge)
. For more information, see Enid Yandell.




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Volcano cyclorama on the Midway Plaisance: Copp's "Pele, Goddess of Fire"





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Head of Pele, Goddess of Fire
--sculptor in background.
For more information,
see Ellen Rankin Copp.

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Pele, Goddess of Fire--
25 ft. tall statue at entrance
of the Volcano Cyclorama on
the Midway Plaisance, holding
up a fiery torch and riding a
wave of lava, 1893 Exposition.




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Go to Women's Public Arts & Architecture: The Tiffany Girls' Glass Art, p. 4


Return to Women's Public Arts & Architecture: State Buildings, p. 2


Return to Site Index



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These pages are for educational use only.

Text written by K. L. Nichols


Painting, top of page: Frances C. Jones,
Eastern Veranda of the Women's Building Looking toward
the Illinois Building, World's Columbian Exposition
(1893)


Return to Nichols Home Page
Suggestions/Comments: knichols11@cox.net
Posted: 4-15-15; Updated: 1-7-17