State Capitol "Wisconsin" Statue

Web - Information about the 'Forward' statue

(608) 266-0382 -- State Capitol Information

Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday & Holidays 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
*Tours offered Monday - Saturday every hour on the hour between 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
*Memorial Day - Labor Day: Additional 4:00 p.m. tour on weekdays

2 E Main St, Madison, WI 53703

The statue atop the state capitol building is named "Wisconsin" and was placed on the capitol dome as a symbol of the state's motto, "Forward." Daniel Chester French, who also created the fabulous Abraham Lincoln statue for the Lincoln Memorial, sculpted "Wisconsin" to symbolize the spirit of Wisconsin progress. She looks toward Lake Monona with her right hand outstretched, while her left hand cradles a globe with an eagle perched on it. On top of her helmet are clusters of grapes and the state animal, the badger. French sculpted the 15 foot, five inch, more than three-ton statue in 1914 for a cost of $20,325. The statue is 23 1/2 caret gold-gilded bronze.

Folklore: People suggested that "Wisconsin" was actually Mrs. Rennebohm, the wife of Oscar Rennebohm, the owner of a large Madison drug-store chain. It was said she was on top of the capitol looking for a site for the newest drug store.

Wisconsin is sometimes misidentified as Miss Forward. This is due to our state motto and also a statue of a woman on the square that is named Forward.

Owner:Information Services Specialist .Group:Campus and Visitor Relations
Created:2009-06-28 19:00 CDTUpdated:2020-03-02 16:26 CDT
Sites:Campus and Visitor Relations
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