WHO IS JEAN POND MINER AND WHAT IS FORWARD?
Through the course of their research to inform their work, Baker and Ross became fascinated with the compelling story of Jean Pond Miner, the 27-year-old female sculptor from Madison, WI who broke all barriers by being selected as one of the two women Artists-in-Residence to represent Wisconsin in the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. During the Expo she created her sculpture out of clay and titled it "Forward", which was the recently created motto for the state of Wisconsin. This sculpture stands proud on the Wisconsin State Capital grounds in Madison.
Forward's creation was funded entirely by women in 1893, twenty-six years before women had the right to vote, own property, or the encouragement to use their artistic gifts outside of the home. Women raised the equivalent of $155,000 in today's dollars in 1893 to have the clay sculpture cast in bronze and placed prominently on the grounds of the State Capitol. In 1995, when Forward needed restoring, it was predominantly women who came together to raise the funds necessary to have her recast and rededicated in a more prominent and permanent position on the Capitol Grounds.
Jean Pond Miner and "Forward" 1893