Enid Yandell, Kentucky Artist-Activist

March 22, 2013 in 1960s-1970s

Cross-posted from the Kentucky Foundation For Women’s Hot Flash: E-News For Everyone (Marc 22, 2013)


“It is the development of character,
The triumph of intellectuality and spirituality
I have striven to express.”

Enid Yandell speaking of her aims
In sculpting “The Struggle of Life”
For the Carrie Brown Memorial Fountain

Born in Louisville Enid Yandell (1870-1934) studied at Hampton college and in Cincinnati. With the support of her parents, Yandell continued to develop her skills through apprenticeships with established sculptors such as Lorado Taft, Phillip Martiny, Fredrick McMonnies, and August Rodin.

Yandell and several other women, who became known at the White Rabbits, were hired by Taft to help design sculptures for the World’s Columbian Exhibition in 1893. In 1897 Yandell created a forty-two foot statue of Pallas Athena for the Nashville Centennial exposition. She became the first woman to be accepted into the national sculpture society. Yandell created several acclaimed sculptures in Louisville that survive today including: Daniel Boone and Hogan’s fountain in Cherokee Park, and the wheelman’s bench on the corner of Third Street and Southern Parkway.

Yandell founded the Branstock school in Massachusetts, a summer art school that taught wood carving, drawing, illustration and painting, which continued until her death. She actively supported women’s suffrage, did humanitarian work with war orphans in France after WWI, and worked for the Red Cross. Today, the Filson Historical Society holds the Enid Yandell collection, containing photographs, papers, and busts by the important sculptor. For more information visit: http://filsonhistorical.org/2009/10/06/happy-birthday-enid-yandell/#more-447

Yandell’s legacy lives on through the Louisville women’s sculptural collective Enid. The group was founded in 1998 based on the desire to give greater representation to women sculptors in Louisville. Members range in age and training, supporting one another to create and exhibit their work. For more information about recent Enid exhibitions visit: http://looklouisvilleart.com/enid-2013.

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