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Woman on a Pedestal
The iconic “Forward” statue inspires donations for female artists.
On Wisconsin, Summer 2020
As graduate students, Brenda Baker MFA’90 (left, above) and Bird Ross MFA’92 walked past the Forward statue at the base of Madison’s Capitol Square a hundred times. The allegorical bronze everywoman — not to be confused with the Wisconsin statue atop the capitol dome — poses with her hand thrust into the sky. She is iconic — and yet Baker and Ross had no idea how aptly she represented the lives of working artists like them, or that uncovering her history would lead to establishing what is already the third-largest fund for female artists in the country.
To continue reading please pick up the Summer 2020 issue of On Wisconsin magazine, or click through to the online version here.
—Maggie Ginsberg is an associate editor at Madison Magazine, a UW-Madison ’97 alum, and a long-time award-winning freelance writer in Madison, Wisconsin