The new Mary Wollstonecraft statue is bad

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/10/the-new-mary-shelley-statue-is-bad.html

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so are her missing clothes representative of the obstacles she overcame or of the ideals she strove for?

was she known for making nudity happen?

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It’s a statue in honour of her, not a statue OF her.

Like it or don’t like it, but at least research what the artist intended before passing comment.

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If there’s one legendary sci-fi author who should get a nude statue it’s Philip K. Dick.

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Its not a Mary Shelley statue its dedicated to her mother https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft

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Man, what is the deal with really bad public sculpture lately. It’s like they don’t pay for someone with actual ability. I would have rejected this on the initial sketch for several reasons.

ETA - deleted the rest of the comments, as I was confused by the head line on who we were talking about.

Still - it isn’t a good statue.

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Art by committee leads to predictably bad results. In California, I’ve seen:

  • A running car with fat little baby legs
  • Large geometric assemblages of rusted metal
  • Woven sticks
  • A spiralized tree
  • A giant Mussolini-style face made of pipes
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Well that first one sounds adorable.

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Mary Wollenstonecroft the famous feminist thinker. Please fix the headline @frauenfelder. It hurts my eyes. Shelley has nothing to do with this.

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By day, yes, adorable. At night, however? Extremely sinister. It’s at Alma and Page Mill Road near Palo Alto if you ever need to witness it yourself.

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@frauenfelder Were you aware of this - about it NOT being a statue of her?

Maybe read this article:

“It will definitely promote comment and debate and that’s good, that’s what Mary did all her life.”

And @navarro

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Where on earth did someone get the idea that this was a statue of Mary Shelley?

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Ugh, i don’t know where to start but i hate the look of that statue

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Uncanny?

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Yes.

The figure in the statue does not represent Wollstonecraft herself, and instead depicts an everywoman, representing the birth of the feminist movement. The campaigners behind the sculpture describe its form as being in deliberate opposition to “traditional male heroic statuary” of the Victorian era, instead depicting a small figure who “has evolved organically from, is supported by, and does not forget, all her predecessors”.[9]

source

Art should carry within itself the power to explain itself, so it feels like cheating to refer to the artists words. Perhaps it is best experienced in person, looking up from the base, and not from a telephoto lens that renders the figure so comically.

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It seems pretty clear to me that this was intended to depict Shelley:

"The memorial to Mary Wollstonecraft will be a source of debate and stimulus for events, as well as a visual celebration of diversity and inclusion in a place that needs it more than ever.

The memorial will be a tangible way to share Wollstonecraft’s vision and ideas. Her presence in a physical form will be an inspiration to local young people in Islington, Haringey and Hackney. And it will send a powerful message beyond that, across the world. Just as the image of Churchill’s memorial statue is used in debates on his legacy, the same is needed for Mary Wollstonecraft."

You may interpret this statement differently than I do, and if you do it will definitely promote comment and debate and that’s good, that’s what Mary did all her life.

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it was not intended to depict a likeness.

A Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft has been made by one of Britain’s most important and sometimes controversial artists, Maggi Hambling. It personifies a spirit, she hopes, and is a clear contrast to the countless sculptures of stuffy men placed on lofty pedestals.

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Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley are not the same person. Mary Wollstonecraft, to whom the statue is dedicated, wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women, not Frankenstein.

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I don’t mean to pile on, but the About Mary section of that same website doesn’t seem to leave much room for interpretation as only one Mary Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792).

She wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), setting out her case for equal rights for women, based on their equal power of reason. In it, she proposed that girls and boys be educated together at state expense, and that women should have representation in Parliament. This was 100 years before the suffragettes.

She has had a critical influence on our lives today: any woman who has the vote, and can read and write, has Mary Wollstonecraft to thank.

Unless I’m badly misunderstanding what you said.

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Thanks, I corrected it!

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