Pioneer monuments program planned at ND Heritage Center

BISMARCK – A guided tour of the public statues on the state Capitol grounds in Bismarck will be part of a program being presented on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. in the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum, Bismarck.

Cynthia Culver Prescott, associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, will present the free program, “Myth and Memory in Western Pioneer Monuments.”

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, communities throughout the United States erected commemorative monuments to their white forebears sculpted by prominent artists. Prescott will discuss the ways that monument designs and public reception of pioneer statues has changed over the past 125 years and how continued public interest in honoring white pioneers shows the importance of the frontier myth in the minds of many Americans.

Prescott is the author of “Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory” and “Gender and Generation on the Far Western Frontier.”

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