Enid Yandell

Born: October 6, 1869

Died: June 12, 1934

Born in Louisville, Enid Yandell developed quickly as a sculptor. By the time she was 23 she had won the Designer's Medal at the Chicago World's Fair. She sculpted two dozen nine-foot-tall caryatids as supports for the a portion of the decorations of the Women's Building for the World's Columbian Exposition the following year.(Hollingsworth 2019) A reporter described Yandell at work:

Perched high on a rude scaffolding two young women are at work. A colossal figure in low relief is being modelled for a corner over the entrances to Machinery Hall. One of the girls is posing for the other, who is at work on the arm of the figure. She has rolled back the loose muslin sleeve from her round, white arm, and rests the elbow on a sculptor's mallet, her wrist and hand smeared with plaster. The model is Miss Carrie Brooks, whose portrait busts last winter attracted much attention. The other girl is Miss Enid Yandell, of Louisville – well and favorably known for her work upon the Woman's Building. She slaps the clay upon the huge arm, or scrapes it away, cocking her black head critically to one side as she works; now whistling like a boy; now brandishing a tool toward her model, who has grown inattentive.(Yandell)

Yandell studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy and later established studios in New York and Paris where she came received tutelage of some of the most renowned sculptors of the time. In New York she received instruction from Philip Martinny and in Paris she studied under Frederick Maconnies and Auguste Rodin.

Her sculptures can be found all across the United States and in France. Yandell was particularly proud of her sculpture "Struggle of Life," a fountain built in Providence, Rhode Island. She mocked up fourteen designs for the fountain before submitting her fifteenth design to the competition. "Yes, I am proud of it. Because with it I won in the competition with eighteen men. It is something to win in a bout with eighteen men, especially if four or five of them are well-known sculptors." (Patterson 1901)

Her study of art and sculpture led Miss Yandell to France. Her devotion kept her there during the first world war. While better known as an artist, Miss Yandell worked as a volunteer during the war helping motherless children whose fathers left to fight.(Yandell)

I wanted to do something too, so I joined the Red Cross and applied for service among the women, children, and old people... The Germans were coming, they had crossed the border, and were coming fast... There was no excitement, as you would expect, and no rioting... simply this intense fear as in a dream... then an order was issued to close the schools and that the children should be taken out of (Paris)...

I became interested in a bunch of about sixty little ones... I knew that the girls from the American girls' club had left and that the club house was empty. I asked permission to put the children there... and we got the club ready and cradles for the babies, and inside of twenty-four hours all was in readiness.

During the mobilization one father of two children, whose mother was dead, a little boy of six and girl of nine, said to me: "I am mobilized, I am going tonight; who will take care of my children?" and without stopping to think I said: "I will take care of them."(Yandell 1915)

Within two months Yandell and others were caring for 800 children.


Bastin, Tom. "The Bajnotti Fountain." https://www.flickr.com/photos/16801915@N06/8191934152/. October 10, 2012.
"Enid Yandell with Her Sculpture of Pallas Athena." In Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Enid Yandell Papers, 1896. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enid_Yandell#/media/File:Enid-yandell-1896.jpg.
Hollingsworth, Randolph, "Enid Bland Yandell (1869-1934), Sculptor from Louisville and Suffragist," H-Kentucky, November 5, 2019, https://networks.h-net.org/node/2289/discussions/5285414/enid-bland-yandell-1869-1934-sculptor-louisville-and-suffragist.
Patterson, Ada. "A Louisville Girl's Triumph." Courier - Journal, April 28, 1901, B1.
Yandell, Enid Bland, 1869-1934. Papers, 1875-1982. The Filson Historical Society.
Yandell, Enid. "Lecture by Miss Enid Yandell, Concerning Her Work in the Universite Populaire at Paris; 120 Pearson Street, Chicago." In Yandell, Enid Bland, 1869-1934. Papers, 1875-1982. The Filson Historical Society. November 11, 1915.
Yandell, Enid. "Sculpture." The Courier (Lincoln, Neb.), July 20, 1901, 3-4. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99066033/1901-07-20/ed-1/seq-3/.