The bronze bust of Ella Higginson. Photo by the Ella Higginson Blog.
The bust of Ella Higginson has been unveiled!
At 11:30AM Friday November 2nd, the bronze bust of Ella Higginson was installed in the North foyer of Wilson Library at Western Washington University.
Matt Waldman from Western Washington University's carpentry shop prepares to install the bust. Photo by the Ella Higginson Blog.
From left to right, Pat Schuette and Matt Waldman from the university carpentry shop, and Matt Glenn of BIG Statues in Provo, Utah. Photo by the Ella Higginson Blog.
The great-great-great nephews of Russell Carden Higginson, Russell and Tom. Photo by Debrah Hansen Dorr.
The event was filmed by local filmmakers Talking to Crows, who filmed Higginson’s lost feminist screenplay Just Like the Men this summer. We’ll announce when the unveiling footage becomes available to the public, which we are told will be in about three weeks. To read more about these innovative and vibrant filmmakers, visit their site: https://www.talkingtocrows.com/
Guests in the Reading Room. Photo by Rhys Logan, Western Washington University.
The life-size-and-a-half, hollow-cast bronze bust was sculpted by Matt Glenn in his studio in Provost, Utah. Glenn’s company, BIG Statues, provides bronze sculptures for memorials and parks all over the US. One of Glenn’s recent projects was a memorial for women veterans installed in Las Cruces, New Mexico. To read more about Matt Glenn’s work, visit https://www.bigstatues.com/
Dr. Laura Laffrado, Director of the Ella Higginson Recovery Project, and Matt Glenn of BIG Statues in Provo, Utah with the bust of Ella Higginson. Photo curtesy of Western Libraries, Western Washington University.
Dr. Mark Greenberg, Dean of Libraries. Photo by Rhys Logan, Western Washington University.
Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Heritage Resources. Photo by Rhys Logan, Western Washington University.
Dr. Brent Carbajal, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Photo by Rhys Logan, Western Washington University.
Dr. Laura Laffrado, Director of the Ella Higginson Recovery Project. Photo by Rhys Logan, Western Washington University.
Talented Vocal Performance music major Olivia Pedroza of Sedro-Woolley then performed three songs, each of them featuring Ella Higginson poems as lyrics that were performed regularly in Higginson’s own lifetime. Footage of Pedroza’s marvelous performance will be available shortly; a special thanks again to filmmakers Talking to Crows. Next, Pedroza will be performing in WWU’s Concert Choir’s program “A Light in the Darkness: Songs of Hope and Comfort” on November 17, 2018. For more information on the event, visit here: https://cfpa.wwu.edu/event/light-darkness-songs-hope-and-comfort
Olivia Pedroza, Vocal Performance major. Photo by Rhys Logan, Western Washington University.
The brilliant manager of Special Collections, Tamara Belts, curated the first ever Ella Higginson exhibit. Pieces from the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Dr. Laffrado's, and her research assistant's collection were featured. Belts also put together a large binder of newspaper clippings about Higginson, postcards featuring Higginson's poems, and sheet music where Higginson's poems were used as lyrics. Included was Ella Higginson's music score cabinet, donated by former university Children's Literature librarian Miriam B. Snow Mathes.
The music score cabinet of Ella Higginson, kept in Special Collections in Western Libraries. Photo by the Ella Higginson Blog.
Cases from the Ella Higginson exhibit by Tamara Belts. Photos by the Ella Higginson Blog.
“What a deep pleasure it was to join with the many friends of Western who packed the Library’s Reading Room on Friday for the gala Ella Higginson Celebration!" Dr. Laffrado said of the reception. "Over a century after the peak of her fame, Ella Higginson is now permanently memorialized in a beautiful bronze bust proudly displayed in the entrance to Wilson Library. This is a wonderful moment of feminist literary recovery that I am so pleased to have guided.”
The bronze bust of Ella Higginson is now the fifth public statue of a female historical figure in Washington State, but there are nearly thirty statues of male historical figures in Washington. Your faithful blog editor hopes that the bust of Ella Higginson will inspire the installment of more statues of women to eliminate the gender disparity of historical monuments in Washington.
Dr. Laffrado with the bust before installation. Photo curtesy of Western Libraries, Western Washington University.
Dr. Laffrado sharing a moment with the bust. Photo by the Ella Higginson Blog.