Presentation Title

Private Funding, Public Space

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Presentation Type

Presentation

Full Name of Faculty Mentor

Elizabeth Baltes, Visual Arts

Major

Art Studio

Presentation Abstract

Portrait monuments are often displayed in prominent, public spaces so they can be viewed easily. Larger-than-life bronze figures tower atop marble pedestals as symbols of virtue to the general public. While most are undoubtedly familiar with this motif, much information about these statues is not made readily available- who decides which figures are honored in this very public, very expensive, way? This research explores these unknowns as an extension of work done for the Edwards Center for Inclusive Excellence, by examining monuments on the South Carolina State House grounds. Although the monuments found at the seat of the state's democracy are usually described as "public monuments," many are funded, at least in part, by private donations. A monument of Strom Thurmond, for example, received funding from Bank of America, Bellsouth, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield, among other private donors, in an amount totaling $850,000. Such large sums of money are not donated without cause. By examining primary sources and historical documents, along with the monuments themselves, I seek to unveil these motives, in order to better understand how private funding has shaped this public space. Using money to determine motivation, this project elucidates the private decisions that affect the public these grounds are meant to serve.

Location

Room 1 (BRTH 101)

Start Date

12-4-2022 3:20 PM

End Date

12-4-2022 3:40 PM

Disciplines

Classical Archaeology and Art History

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Apr 12th, 3:20 PM Apr 12th, 3:40 PM

Private Funding, Public Space

Room 1 (BRTH 101)

Portrait monuments are often displayed in prominent, public spaces so they can be viewed easily. Larger-than-life bronze figures tower atop marble pedestals as symbols of virtue to the general public. While most are undoubtedly familiar with this motif, much information about these statues is not made readily available- who decides which figures are honored in this very public, very expensive, way? This research explores these unknowns as an extension of work done for the Edwards Center for Inclusive Excellence, by examining monuments on the South Carolina State House grounds. Although the monuments found at the seat of the state's democracy are usually described as "public monuments," many are funded, at least in part, by private donations. A monument of Strom Thurmond, for example, received funding from Bank of America, Bellsouth, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield, among other private donors, in an amount totaling $850,000. Such large sums of money are not donated without cause. By examining primary sources and historical documents, along with the monuments themselves, I seek to unveil these motives, in order to better understand how private funding has shaped this public space. Using money to determine motivation, this project elucidates the private decisions that affect the public these grounds are meant to serve.