A Woman to Know: Enid Yandell

For a woman to persevere and accomplish what she did at the turn of the last century is remarkable. — art historian Joyce Ogden

(image via Archives of American Art)


She studied with Auguste Rodin, Frederick William MacMonnies and other artists of the European expat school — but Enid Yandell was a Kentucky artist, forever and always.

During World Wars I and II, she directed construction of large-scale installations, garden sculptures and public monuments that dot her hometown of Louisville. But her influence stretches far beyond Kentucky, all along the Eastern Seaboard. She founded the Branstock School to nurture generations of future artists, admitting (most controversially) young ladies and advocates for women's suffrage.

In 1893, her female contemporaries banded together to form The White Rabbits, a female artists' collective that exhibited at the World's Columbian Exhibition. Enid sculpted her now-famous "Daniel Boone" for display at the convention, then celebrated for its impeccable execution as well as the grand scope of her vision.

And that grand scope is what made Enid's work distinctive. Just look at the entire context of the photo above. At the time of its construction, Pallas Athena, built for the full-scale Parthenon recreation in Nashville, was the largest work ever sculpted by a woman. Male artists throughout the country had fought for the commission — but Enid's vision of a 25-foot goddess ultimately won.

Little Enid, big ideas.

(image via Archives of American Art)

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*~ Thank you to Mary Nancy Walker for recommending Enid as a woman to know! Mary is a proud Louisville thanks for letting us know about Enid's remarkable legacy there! ~*

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