Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Famous Five

This is the second most recent sculptural addition to Parliament Hill, the Famous Five. Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, and Henrietta Muir Edwards were activists, politicians, and attorneys bringing forward the question of if women were legally considered persons. The case was resolved in 1929 in their favour, and more on their story can be found here. The sculptures are somewhat larger than life, and the faces have a vibrant energy to them. This is one of two sets; the other identical set can be found in Calgary.


  1. Yay! I'm human in Canada! Thanks ladies

    ( '>

    ALOHA from Honolulu,

  2. It seems hard to believe that such activism was needed to prove that women are "real" people. But I suppose our sisters in some parts of this world are still going through these ordeals.

  3. I've never seen such vibrant statues - a wonderful tribute. But as Halcyon says, women are still facing these struggles in many parts of the world.

  4. I see you have a lot of statues on Parliament Hill.


  5. It is as if you are walking among those who impacted history with this collection of statues!


  6. I really must make a trip to Ottawa. I did not know all these monuments existed. You are doing the city a great service showcasing them all. Thank you!

  7. Even after all the work put in by past activists, in many parts of the world women are still not deemed equal.. unbelievable in this day and age ! Another wonderful sculpture William.

  8. This legal person says "Thank you,Ladies!"
    Jane x

  9. I always get Agnes MacPhail mixed into this group, though she wasn't one of them. She was born quite close to here, and was the first female MP. Nellie McClung was also born near here, so I think of them together, but Nellie moved west as a child.

  10. how neat to remember them and hooray for their diligence!

  11. Another great monument! Funny questions from another era, at least for us...

  12. The pigeons must love Parliament Hill!

  13. It's a great monument. Here is the one in Calgary.

  14. Fabulosas esculturas.
    Este conjunto ficou exuberante adornando esta praça
    Uma riqueza cultural de excelência
    Um abraço e bom dia William

  15. These are fantastic sculptures. I must try to find the ones in Calgary sometime when we're there.

  16. @Linda: these five are a complicated set, but the sculptures really stand out.

    @Cloudia: the mindset that was different still puzzles me. Even though in this day and age we have certain politicians and people on the right who think barefoot and pregnant is where a woman should be.

    @Halcyon: all too true, when you think of an exceptional young woman like Malala Yousafzai, shot by those gutless cowards.

    @Linda: it is an ongoing struggle.

    @Tomas: we have a great many, and one turns up in the background of the third shot- I hadn't photographed him before.

    @Janis: and looking up at them- the scale of the statues makes them taller than I am, though in life they weren't.

    @Hilary: they certainly do.

    @Gill: they have been there several years now, but until now I haven't photographed them, aside from them turning up in the background of one shot from last year.

    @Grace: thank you!

  17. @Jane and Chris: and they say you're welcome!

    @Gnome: I would have gotten her into the mix as well back in the day.

    @Tex: they were part of the suffrage movement at the time that was doing much the same work in many countries. It needed to be done.

    @VP: though some of us might feel differently- I'm thinking of a right wing politician here who just got raised to the leadership of a provincial conservative party, and whose views definitely swing to the father knows best, women should be quiet and do what they're told mentality. He's just guaranteed the party another decade in the wilderness.

    @Luis: there's a lot. And actually it wasn't easy photographing them this time, there's groundwork going on around them that I didn't want in the frames. I'll have to photograph them again with closeups on some of the finer details.

    @Norma: oh, they do!

    @Jackie: thanks for the link!

    @Gracita: thank you!

    @Pamela: they are at Olympic Plaza, as I understand.

  18. I LOVE it! I like the movement depicted in the statues.

  19. I am Woman
    Hear me roar.
    Impossible to believe these things really happened.

  20. Nice to show some appreciation to the women! Looks like they're having a serious discussion!

  21. Another impressive and important sculpture! I like it.

  22. Really? A question about whether a woman is a person? Amazing. So glad times have changed.

  23. Amazing that less than a century ago this was something that had to be argued!

  24. I knew I'd seen this statue before. Yes, it's in Calgary. They were a very determined group of women.

  25. Beautiful sculptures and fantastic women! Thanks ladies!

  26. Great sculptures and larger than life women who spoke out! Bravo! Nice shots, William.

  27. It's like stepping into a room with people. These are lively sculptures!

  28. We've come a long way since those debates but sadly the question isn't even being addressed in some parts of the world today. And in many economies women still earn far less than men for the same work.

  29. It is wonderful to see that these ladies who helped so many are being recognized in this magniicent statue.

  30. These are really lovely sculptures. I would like to go to drink coffee with them.

  31. Very lively statues, they almost look real.

  32. This is a fun spot to pose for photos.

  33. Love these William, so much energy and passion, great works...

  34. I was so keen on this that my fingers hit the send key before I finished what I was going to type lol
    I LOVE this
    almost an reenactment of what occurred by the looks of it and the tea taking kind of links in with what I am posting about at the moment :)

  35. @Sharon: thanks!

    @MB: and yet it's not that far in the past.

    @Cheryl: it's quite an animated discussion.

    @Judy: thanks!

    @Linda: hence the need for the suffrage movement that straddled the 19th and 20th centuries.

    @EG: and sometimes you wonder how far we've moved beyond it.

    @Red: having had taken a look at Jackie's photos of the Calgary setting, I like both settings. Someday I'll have to photograph them there as well.

    @RedPat: thanks!

    @Ciel: they did well.

  36. @Lauren: thanks!

    @Marleen: it's such a contrast from the formal pose of other sculptures on the Hill.

    @Kay: all too true. There are still too many people who think the opposite way.

    @Denise: it's a good tribute to them.

    @Orvokki: or tea!

    @Marianne: they certainly do.

    @Hamilton: it does seem set for that sort of thing.

    @Peter: I certainly think so.

    @Geoff: the sculptor did well with them.

    @Jen: sometimes photobloggers cross mental paths with what they're posting on a given day! I did see your post.

  37. It is hard to believe now that it was ever even a question! What a lovely tribute.

  38. A well deserved tribute to five brave women.

  39. Women are people? When did that happen?

  40. I'm always a bit amazed that this was ever a question, but still, glad to see these women honored!

  41. You have so many fascinating sculptures in Ottawa. Your scenery is so very different than here--we're a bit more rough and tumble!

  42. This is fantastic!
    Also unique, I guess.

  43. Love these William, beautiful sculptures.

  44. Wonderful Tribute.

  45. I'm just happy to see they have arms. I still don't get that whole bust thing.

  46. I love these! I didn't know there were two sets!!!

  47. @Linda: I agree.

    @Lois: archaic to us now.

    @Mari: quite so.

    @Kate: and determined.

    @Jack: some out there would like to set the clock back.

    @Meradeth: and they're worth honouring.

  48. @Elaine: back in the day before it took the name Ottawa, this place had a very rough reputation.

    @Gunn: not quite unique, as it's one of a matching set.

    @Karl: they're popular for photo ops.

    @Carolann: definitely.

    @Whisk: I like busts.

    @Jennifer: I'd like to see the other set someday.