The “Forward” statue located at the west entrance of the Wisconsin State Capitol, has been once again turned into an annual ornament. The 2019 State Capitol ornament is available for sale by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
“Forward” was sculpted by Jean Pond Miner, and her granddaughter, Helen Coburn Meier, was the one to present the unveiling of the ornament in June.
According to Meier, her grandmother didn’t talk much because she was too busy working with the art that she loved so much, and one day she said, ‘When I did “Forward,” it was the happiest day of my life."
The statue symbolizes devotion and progress, according to Miner, and the ornament is a tribute to the centennial of women’s suffrage in Wisconsin. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Wisconsin ratifying the 19th Amendment.
Miner completed “Forward” at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and it was displayed there. After the fair, Wisconsin women raised funds to produce a permanent statue of Miner’s clay “Forward.” In 1895, the Legislature passed a bill to place the statue at the State Capitol. “Forward” was installed on the lawn near the east entrance atop a granite pedestal with a bronze plate that read “Forward, Wisconsin Women’s Memorial of the Columbian Exposition, 1893.”
“Forward” is currently outside the Capitol’s west entrance, and the ornaments dedicated to it are available for sale. Proceeds will go toward restoration projects around the Capitol building. Since 2004, the proceeds from the ornament sales have supported over $75,000 in restoration projects around the Capitol building.
The $20 ornament can be purchased by the Wisconsin Historical Society: Click Here
Ornaments can also be found at: Orange Tree Imports, Wisconsin Historical Museum, State Capitol Tours, Monona Terrace, The Bruce Company, MMoCA, Tis the Season, Sun Prairie Flowers and Gift Shop, and the Executive Residence.