Location: Chicago Women’s Park
Artist: Louise Bourgeois
Jane Addams was an American settlement activist, reformer, pioneer social worker, sociologist, public administrator, author and noble peace prize winner. Jane is one of the most important leaders in the history of social work and women's suffrage in the U.S.A. She was known as a radical pragmatist and arguably the first named 'public philosopher' in the US.
In 1989, Jane established the 'Hull House' and at its beginning was a safe haven for a community of university women, whose main purpose was to provide social and educational opportunities for working class people (many of them being immigrants) in the surrounding neighbourhood. A major key to the Hull House that was significant to Jane was the Art Program. The art program allowed her to challenge the system of industrialised education, which suited a the individual to a specific job or position. She wanted the house to provide a space to encourage people to think independently. She saw art as the key to unlocking the diversity of the city through collective interaction, mutual self-discovery, recreation and the imagination. Art was integral to her vision of community, disrupting fixed ideas and stimulating the diversity and interaction on which a healthy society depends.
In 1910, Jane was awarded an honorary Masters Arts Degree by Yale University, this made her the first woman in their history to receive this honour from Yale. In 1920, Mrs.Addams went on to become the co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union which still to this day is helping people across the United States know their rights and be able to keep their free liberty.
Jane had an incredible concern and care to focus on important issues such as Motherhood and the needs of children, local public health care and world peace, this awarded her for her incredible contributions and efforts in 1931, when she became the first woman in history to win a Noble Peace prize.
"True peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice" - Jane Addams
The Jane Addams memorial sculpture was Chicago’s first major artwork to honour 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 neighbourhood on the Near West Side. The sculpture by Louise Bourgeois can be found in Chicago Women’s Park.