Amelia’s monument about to take flight

March 12, 2011 by EVE   · Comments Off

Published on March 12, 2011, in the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Fundraising for the new statue of aviatrix Amelia Earhart that will replace the John James Ingalls monument in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol is almost ready to take flight.

All that is needed to move forward is the signature of Gov. Sam Brownback, officials said.

Suzanne Scoggins, director of women’s history at Equal Visibility Everywhere, said about $250,000 will be needed to design, construct and install the Earhart statue in Washington and return the Ingalls statue to Kansas.

EVE, a Maryland-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to achieving gender parity in the symbols and icons of the United States, will be responsible for raising the funds and commissioning an artist.

“We expect it will take a couple of years,” Scoggins said.

The Kansas Legislature passed a resolution in favor of the Earhart statue more than 10 years ago, when the state decided to update both of its representatives in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

A statue of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president and five-star Army general, was to replace the likeness of George Glick, ninth governor of Kansas. Earhart was to replace Ingalls, who served 18 years in the U.S. Senate.

“Eisenhower got done and the Amelia never did,” said Jacque Pregont, president of the Atchison Chamber of Commerce.

EVE approached Kansas officials about taking on the project in early 2010. In August, former Gov. Mark Parkinson signed the replacement agreement, which was delivered to the architect of the Capitol. Because of minor changes to the agreement’s language, the document must be resigned by Brownback.

Once that document is returned to the architect of the Capitol. Scoggins said EVE will ask Brownback to form a commission to raise funds and issue proposals for the design.

Replacement statues must meet certain requirements, including:

n?Must represent one individual and be life-sized.

n?Must be made of bronze or marble.

n?Must be no more than 7 feet in height, or 10 feet total if pedestal is included, and weigh (statue and pedestal) no more than 10,000 pounds.

Kansas isn’t the only state EVE has approached to update its statues. Scoggins said EVE has been lobbying the Maryland Legislature to send a statue of Harriet Tubman to the National Statuary Hall.

Tubman, a former slave who helped others escape slavery via the Underground Railroad and later fought for woman’s suffrage, would be the first African-American in the hall.

“With Amelia approved and probably Tubman, it is a race to see who will be the 10th woman in Statuary Hall,” she said.

EVE also has plans for similar campaigns in New York, Florida and California.

The Kansas statue is the second Earhart-related project for EVE. The organization has launched a line of giant parade balloons featuring famous American women — with Earhart leading the way.

The balloon, which depicts Earhart in her red Lockheed Vega, made its debut at the Circle City Parade on Oct. 2 in Indianapolis. Scoggins said the balloon, which has a 45-foot wing span, may make an appearance July 4 at the National Independence Day Parade in Washington.

The balloon likely will not make a stop in Earhart’s hometown. Pregont said she was unsure if Atchison has “the capability to get it down our streets.”

“But any publicity with Amelia Earhart is great for Atchison,” she added.

Read the full article in the Topeka Capital-Journal.

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