Cooper, Alice. Historic Sculpture: Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste. Bronze. 1905. 7 x 3 1/2 x 3 feet.
“Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste” was commissioned by the Committee of Portland Women as the centerpiece for the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition to represent “the only woman in the Lewis and Clark Expedition and in honor of the pioneer mother of old Oregon.” It originally stood in the center of the Plaza at the Lewis and Clark Fair in 1905, at the end of which, it was moved to Washington Park. Sacajawea was a Shoshone woman who guided Lewis and Clark in their journey westward. At the time this sculpture was commissioned, equal suffrage was not yet in effect and the women of Oregon were still fighting for the right to vote. Many prominent women suffragists were present at its dedication including, Susan B. Anthony, Rev. Anna Shaw and Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway. Funds for the work were raised by women across the western states. Alice Cooper of Denver was selected to design the work. She is the first woman artist to be represented in Portland’s Public Art Collection.
Courtesy of Regional Arts & Culture Council.
Artist Credit: Alice Cooper