This week the Wisconsin Union kicked off its Winter Carnival. It’s a yearly event featuring outdoor activities like ice skating, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. It’s mission is to get people out of their homes and into traditional winter activities.
Due to the pandemic, things look a bit different this year. Participants must pre-register for events and the star of the show is missing and instead a “DIY ” Lady Liberty contest takes her place. Lady Liberty is a winter fixture on Lake Mendota. She was a campaign promise fulfilled by the Pail and Shovel party in February of 1979.
Her sporadic presence was due to vandals and a lack of funds. In 1995, an anonymous donor provided funding for a version that would appear outside UW’s Memorial Union until 2010.
In 2011 contributor gianofer fields found herself standing on the frozen lake near a stack of wood panels and green styrofoam. The rather large puzzle belonged to the Lady of the Lake waiting to be put together so she could take her rightful place on the lake.
In this edition of Radio Chipstone, fields reaches back into her archives to bring us that story.
About the Host:
gianofer (JON nah fer) fields is an Art Historian and Material Culture contributor and curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is hosted by the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the Chipstone Foundation; a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.
About the Guests:
Angela Weier was a student at UW-Madison when this episode was recorded in 2011.
Jen Limbach was the president of the UW-Madison student group, the Hoofer Council, back in Lady Liberty’s early days.
Image: Lady Liberty by Angela Weier and Bryce Richter.
This segment comes from the Radio Chipstone Archives of WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio. See here.