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.

“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.”

Actor Portrayal of Virginia Estelle Randolph (1875 -1958) at the StudioEIS photoshoot
Actor Portrayal of Virginia Estelle Randolph (1875 -1958) at the StudioEIS photoshoot

In May of 2017, 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. Additional images from the photo shoot can be found on the Virginia Capitol Foundation’s Facebook page and a short video of the studio shoots can be seen here.

Actor Portrayal of Mary Draper Ingles (c. 1732 –1815) at the StudioEIS photoshoot
Actor Portrayal of Mary Draper Ingles (c. 1732 –1815) at the StudioEIS photoshoot

Construction on the monument’s plaza in Capitol Square began in June 2018.

See the full list of women paid tribute to and a detailed description of this new monument on Capitol Square along with the committee charged with the project’s concept and completion at Voices from the Garden: The Virginia Women’s Monument.

View a short film of the actors in period dress at StudioEIS for sculpture creation.

Download the full press release with additional media content.

See the StudioEIS Art Direction photo montage.