We believe in the importance of moving through a city where women and their achievements are celebrated, the adversity they faced is recognized, and their stories inspire and connect us.

Of the 5,575 public art representing historical figures in the United States, only 559 portray women, a mere 10% of all statues, according to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The South Carolina State House grounds hold more than 30 monuments erected to recognize men, but not women in any meaningful way.

Placed at the northwest corner of Main and Gervais streets, directly across from the State house, this monument stands in conversation with and physically confronts South Carolina’s past and its white, male-dominated status quo.

Serving as a daily reminder of women’s strength, perseverance, and power, the Columbia City of Women monument is about placing women in a prominent public space to encourage others to:

  • Take a closer look at women’s impact on the history of our community
  • Consider including women in narratives that we may not have otherwise been included
  • Generate conversation and celebration of women to inspire continued excellence and success

Our city has a legacy of remarkable women. The Architecture of Strength, located at the physical and symbolic center of the state, will play a role in creating a sense of public memory for all and a source of public identity for women throughout Columbia and South Carolina.

About the Monument

She represents hope. She represents integrity. She is welcoming to all.

The form starts with the foundation - or the first column, a circle. The pillar of strength.

The layering of the lives in meaning and the contributions of these women to Columbia, create the form.

The sculpture - a form made up of many parts. The parts of the female that are invaluable in every community. This fabric holds us all together: family, vision, courage, strength, integrity, honor, hope, resilience, intelligence, compassion, steadfastness, determination, and drive.

The faceless, nameless nature of this art represents the idea that it takes all kinds of women, all shapes, all sizes, and beliefs to build a community.

Generously supported by:

Central Carolina Community Foundation
Jerry Davis, in memory of Judy
Sue Doran
Dr. Lilly and Mr. Bruce Filler
First Lady Rachel Hodges and Governor James H. Hodges
Hood Construction
Knight Foundation
Beth and Matthew Richardson
Dr. Mary Baskin-Waters and Mr. Samuel C. Waters

About the Artist

Deedee Morrison, a resident of Greenville, SC, is a public artist working at the forefront of transforming urban landscapes into dynamic and memorable public spaces. With public art, communities have the ability to transcend language, impact emotion, conceptual thought, and contribute to an impactful and informed public space. Bridging the fields of history, biogeography and art, Morrison's sculptural forms weave together elements of creativity, geology, natural history, and technology to uniquely craft a story of place and home.

About Columbia City of Women

Columbia City of Women honors the women – past and present – whose contributions to our city helped others thrive, pushed boundaries and created opportunities, stood up for others, lead the charge, or created beauty and strengthened culture.

Learn the stories of Columbia's many strong, courageous, and driven women.

Columbia City of Women is a partnership between Historic Columbia and WREN.