Senator Allison Memorial by Evelyn Beatrice Longman, 1916, detail of Law

Off the beaten path.

William Boyd Allison was a United States Senator from Iowa.  He was known as "the oldest in service, wisest in council, a friend of all."

This memorial, which stands facing the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, was created by Evelyn Beatrice Longman.  Largely forgotten today, Longman had a long and prolific career, creating some of America's most dynamic imagery. Her forgotten legacy is even more ironic when one realizes how few female monument makers there were at the time.  She was the only female student of Daniel Chester French, and she had so much input on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. that she even signed her name--which can still be seen to this day.

As a whole, the monument largely fails, but there are a few brilliant details.  Of particular is this detail of "Law."  What virility created by a female monument maker!

It was this and other details that caused me to drive from New York City to Des Moines to see the monument in person. I call this trip "art-history's greatest road trip."  I left NYC early Saturday morning and arrived 18-hours later in Des Moines.  I photographed the memorial, slept in my little red truck at the base of this monument, photographed it again at sunrise, and lastly, drove home another 18 hours.

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