Dictionary of Wisconsin History
Search Results for: Keyword: 'frances willard'
Term: Mears, Helen Farnsworth 1872 - 1916
sculptress, b. Oshkosh. She was the daughter of Mary Elizabeth Mears. Showing artistic ability at an early age, she was encouraged by her parents. At the age of nine, she modeled a bust of Apollo which was exhibited at the county fair, and at 16 her kneeling figure, "Repentance," received favorable notice from August Saint-Gaudens. While studying under Lorado Taft at the Chicago Art Institute, she was commissioned to do a figure to represent Wisconsin at the World's Columbian Exposition (1893). The result was a nine-foot statue, "Genius of Wisconsin," which now stands in the state capitol. She then went to New York where she studied under August Saint-Gaudens, and later worked and studied in Europe. In 1904 she was honored at the St. Louis Exposition for her work "The Fountain of Life." Her best-known work, a statue of Frances E. Willard, was executed under commission from the state of Illinois in 1898, and was unveiled in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol in 1905. Among her other works are bronze busts of George Rogers Clark and William T. G. Morton, and bas-reliefs of August Saint-Gaudens, Edward McDowell, and her mother, Mary Elizabeth Mears. She was also the sculptress of the Adin Randall Fountain in Eau Claire, which was completed in 1914. A shy and highly sensitive artist, she was living in New York City when her promising career was cut short by an untimely death. Dict. Amer. Biog.; Milwaukee Sentinel, Feb. 18, 1916; Mears Family Papers.
View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.
[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]