Chicago Parks currently have 2% representation of statues of historical women! The 48 statues of men include William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Columbus. The Chicago Parks feature representations of female figures, including nymphs, mermaids and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
In 2018 the only sculpture of a woman in the 570 Chicago Parks was unveiled. The statue depicts Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win Pulitzer Prize. Also present is a memorial to Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, but this is There are also a handful of statues of women outside the parks in Chicago, including Georgiana Rose Simpson, the first black woman to finish a doctorate from University of Chicago
Current Statues of Women in Chicago
The Jane Addams memorial sculpture was Chicago’s first major artwork to honor an important woman. Helping Hands commemorates Nobel Peace Prize winner and social reformer Jane Addams (1860 – 1935). Jane Addams established Hull House, the nation’s first settlement house in Chicago’s poor immigrant neighborhood on the Near West Side. The sculpture by Louise Bourgeois can be found in Chicago Women’s Park.
Gwendolyn Brooks was a poet, author, and teacher. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on May 1, 1950, for ‘Annie Allen’, making her the first African American to receive the Prize. She later became the first black woman to be the poet laureate of Illinois — a position she held from 1968 until her death in 2000 — as well as the first to serve as a poetry consultant to the Library of Congress. Her statue, by Margot Mcmahon can be found at Brooks Park-also named for the poet.
Georgiana Rose Simpson
Georgiana Rose Simpson was a philologist and one of the first African-American women to receive a PhD in the United States. She received her doctoral degree in German from theUniversity of Chicago in 1921. Georgiana overcame substantial racism to win her degrees and As an undergraduate at the University, white students protested her presence in campus housing and she was forced to leave campus for a while. Her sculpture can be found at the University of Chicago.