FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23 — It’s official: Kansas will replace its statue of John James Ingalls in the U.S. Capitol with a new sculpture of famed aviator Amelia Earhart.
Ingalls has represented Kansas for more than a century in the National Statuary Hall Collection, which features two statues of illustrious citizens from each state. Amelia Earhart will become only the tenth woman to be honored with a statue in the collection.
Equal Visibility Everywhere (EVE), a national non-profit dedicated to achieving gender parity in the country’s symbols and icons, has been given responsibility for raising the funds for the statue and commissioning the artist.
The Kansas legislature passed a resolution in favor of the Earhart statue 11 years ago, when the state decided to update both of its representatives in Statuary Hall with more modern figures. The statue of George Glick was slated to be replaced by one of Dwight D. Eisenhower, while Amelia Earhart was chosen to replace John James Ingalls.
The Eisenhower sculpture was duly commissioned and installed in 2003. But plans for the Amelia Earhart statue went nowhere—until now.
Earlier this year, EVE approached officials in Kansas about taking on the Earhart project. The resulting statue replacement agreement was signed this month by Governor Mark Parkinson and delivered to the Architect of the Capitol in Washington.
The onus is now on EVE to raise the necessary funds for the statue and begin the process of choosing a sculptor.
“Amelia Earhart was one of the most inspiring women in American history,” says Dr. Lynette Long, president of EVE. “She’s still a role model for girls everywhere, and the prospect of having her in Statuary Hall is incredibly exciting. We are deeply honored to be entrusted with this responsibility. Everyone in Kansas has been wonderful.”
An open competition will be held for the statue’s design, with the winner chosen by a selection committee chaired by Dr. Long. The selection committee will also include representatives from the Governor’s office, the family of Amelia Earhart, the Atchison Chamber of Commerce (Earhart’s home town), the Amelia Earhart Festival, and the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.
Kansas isn’t the only state to be approached by EVE about updating its statues. In Maryland the group has partnered with NOW to persuade lawmakers to send a statue of Harriet Tubman to National Statuary Hall. Tubman would be the first African-American in the Hall and, depending on the timing of the Earhart statue, either the tenth or eleventh woman so honored. Earlier this year EVE encouraged Ohio citizens to choose a woman for their state’s new statue. The organization has plans for similar campaigns in New York, Florida, and California.
The Kansas statue will be the second Earhart-related project for EVE. The group is also introducing a line of giant parade balloons featuring famous American women, with Amelia Earhart as the first entry.
Lynette Long, President of EVE
Suzanne Scoggins, Communications Director, EVE
Letter from Governor Mark Parkinson to the Architect of the Capitol, with statue replacement agreement (pdf format): GovParkinson_AOC.pdf
Background links online:
- Kansas Statue Project: Put Amelia Earhart in Statuary Hall! (EVE)
- Kansas Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 1617, Session of 1999 (pdf hosted on EVE)
- Statuary Hall Project (EVE)
- John James Ingalls – statue and brief biography (Architect of the Capitol)
- National Statuary Hall Collection official website (Architect of the Capitol)
- Statue Replacement Guidelines (pdf from the Architect of the Capitol)
EVE organizational info:
- Maryland Statue Project (EVE)
- Ohio Statue Project (EVE)
- Balloon Project: Put Amelia Earhart back in the skies! (EVE)
Absolutely fantastic NEWS!!!
It’s official: Amelia Earhart will be the tenth woman in Statuary Hall : EVE | Equal Visibility Everywhere says:
[...] just quote our press release: August 23 — It’s official: Kansas will replace its statue of John James Ingalls in the U.S. [...]
Coverage on EVE and the Amelia Earhart statue : EVE | Equal Visibility Everywhere says:
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