Statues populate the Washington landscape, and about 50 feature women. Eleanor Roosevelt, the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, is the only first lady with a statue at a presidential memorial (Franklin D. Roosevelt) in Washington; educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune’s statue is at Lincoln Park; and the likeness of Jane Delano, founder of the American Red Cross Nursing Service, is at Red Cross Square, between 17th and 18th streets and D and E streets NW.
Here are a few more.
Near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall is a bronze sculpture of three women. Two are helping a wounded male soldier. A third is crouching, holding a helmet. The work honors the 265,000 women who volunteered, mainly in the health-care fields.
Outside the Capitol, the white marble monument was erected 139 years ago in memory of Navy sailors who died at sea during the Civil War. Four women adorn the 44-foot-high sculpture: Grief, who leans on History’s shoulder; Victory; and Peace, who stands bare-chested facing the Capitol. A woman representing freedom is atop the building.
On the left side of the Supreme Court entrance sits a marble statue of a woman symbolizing justice. A male is on the right, as the guardian of law. Sculptor James Earle Fraser said a woman was “a realistic conception of what I consider a heroic type of person with a head and body expressive of the beauty and intelligence of justice,” according to a court document of the Office of the Curator.
Thirty headless bronze figures stand in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, as testament to a story Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz heard about children who froze to death being transported from Poland to Germany during World War II. “She incorporates individuality into each work,” said Molly Donovan, an associate curator of modern and contemporary art at NGA.