|Guidance of Youth, Bush Park|
Prescott is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Dakota and author of Pioneer Monuments in the American West. Her current project Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in Spring 2019.
May 23rd, 1919
Last month the Daily Emerald wrote:
[I]n the early 20th century, pioneers were depicted in statues across the country to “valorize” their achievements.In 1919 it was big enough news that Salem newspapers covered it also.
On the day of the statue’s instillation, May 22, 1919, the president of the Oregon Historical Society gave a speech to dedicate the statue that praised the Anglo-Saxon race and its ability to assimilate other races and cultures to become a part of it....
But interestingly, the lead image for the pub talk is not that Eugene Pioneer or any other statue in Lane County, but instead is "Guidance of Youth," the statue in Bush Park, right here.
And it happens that "Guidance of Youth" appears prominently in Prescott's book, Pioneer Mother Monuments, as well as on the home page of the book's blog, the monument database, and sections on the sculptor, Avard Fairbanks, and the cluster of pioneer monuments in the Willamette Valley. So it has a substantial place in the book's argument.
In recent years, Americans have engaged in heated debates about Confederate Civil War monuments and their implicit racism. Should these statues be removed or reinterpreted? Far less attention, however, has been paid to pioneer monuments, which, Prescott argues, also enshrine white cultural superiority—as well as gender stereotypes. Only a few western communities have reexamined these values and erected statues with more inclusive imagery."Guidance of Youth" provides the lead and structure for Chapter 3, "Memory and Modernity in Postwar Family Monuments, 1940 - 1975."