White Rabbits (sculptors)

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White Rabbits was the name given to a group of women sculptors who worked with Lorado Taft at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.

As the date of the fair's opening grew closer Taft realized that he would not be able to complete the decorations and discovering that all the male sculptors to be had were already employed elsewhere. So he asked Burnham if he could use women assistants, an occurrence that was virtually unheard of at that time. Burnham's reply was that Taft could, "Hire anyone, even white rabbits, if they can get the work done." Taft, an instructor of sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute, who had many qualified women students and who frequently employed women assistants himself, brought in a group of women assistants who were promptly dubbed "the White Rabbits."

From the ranks of the White Rabbits were to emerge some of the most talented and successful women sculptors of the next generation. These were to include:

Horticultural Building

Besides the work that the White Rabbits did on the Horticultural Building several of them were to obtain other commissions to produce sculpture at the Exposition. Among these were Lawrence's statue of Columbus, placed in front of the Administration Building, Yandell's Daniel Boone for the Kentucky Building, Bracken's Illinois Greeting the Nations in the Illinois Building and Mears' Columbia for the Wisconsin Building.

References[edit]

  • Janet Scudder, Modeling My Life, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1925