Alison Davis Lyne Portraits of
2004 Kentucky Women Remembered Honorees for
Kentucky Commission on Women
In the fall of 2003 I was commissioned to paint the portraits of the 2004 honorees selected to be a part of the Kentucky Women Remembered Exhibit which is on permanent display in the Kentucky State Capitol's rotunda.
The honorees were selected by the Kentucky Commission on Women from nominations from various sources. The nomination packages included lists of past accomplishments on the part of the honorees, their contributions to the state of Kentucky and their own communities. When faced with so many fine accomplishments, for each recipient, I found it hard to choose just a few ideas to represent the "visual character" of these honorees. I made some color sketches for the committee to review. Upon approval of the sketches I began work on the portraits.
Hannah Baird's portrait highlights her involvement in worthy causes. She has been involved in a wide variety of projects from Boone County Arts Council and its great work with the Dinsmore Homestead to being state chair of the Kentucky Women's Political Caucus. She has been a tireless worker on behalf of Kentucky women, both in her work with Kentucky Foundation for Women and as a chair of Kentucky Commission on Women. She has been a 36 year member of Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs and a fundraiser and speaker for Northern Kentucky Rape Crisis Center. In 1981 she was appointed to Jimmy Carter's Presidential Advisory council on Economic Opportunity for Women, and participated in the Council's 1981 publication, Women and Children; Alone and in Poverty.
Dr. Carolyn Bratt, a W. L. Matthews Jr. Professor of Law and faculty member of University of Kentucky College of Law, has long had a "passion for helping those in Kentucky who have been underrepresented." She was a 2003 inductee in the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame, and has served as UK's Commission on Diversity. Dr. Bratt has taught women and the law for over 30 years, and has published numerous papers. After reading about Dr. Bratt, the first thing I drew was the picture of "Blind Justice" holding the scales of judgement balancing evenly between the rights of both women and men, as Dr Bratt has long worked on the issue of gender equality. Dr. Bratt has won numerous awards both for her teaching accomplishments and for her involvement in civic affairs.
Dr. Louise Hutchins, was a strong pioneer for women in rural eastern Kentucky. She earned her MD from Yale in 1936, after being brought up in pre-Communist China by missionary parents. She returned there, with her husband, and served her medical internship caring for refugee children until 1939, when her husband accepted the presidency of Berea College. She continued her medical career in Berea, and was Berea's only pediatrician for 38 years. The photo I worked from for this portrait was kindly provided by the courtesy of Berea College Public Relations Department. Among her many duties was bringing maternal health care to Appalachian women. In her visits to these mountain communities Dr. Hutchins saw a lack of family planning information and the poor health that resulted from too many births without proper planning. Dr. Hutchins was determined to bring family planning services to this area. This was accomplished this by horseback, jeep and mail service until 1970, when the Mountain Maternal League made Dr. Hutchins the clinician for the League's "mobil unit", a 35 foot long van, with examining rooms. She received numerous awards through out her long career of service to others, and a place in the hearts of those she helped.
Loretta Lynn has long been an outstanding role model for women in the country music business. Her success story, going from Butcher Hollar, Kentucky to world wide fame as a country music legend, has been told in the book and movie "Coal Miners Daughter". She has won 21 CMA,ACM and Grammy awards to date for her 70 albums and numerous top hit singles. She has written many of her hits, about the everyday struggles of ordinary women that so touch the hearts of her many fans. In December 2003, Loretta Lynn along with other award recipients were honored at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for the "unique and extremely valuable contributions made to the cultural life of our nation."
As in past years, I have very much enjoyed learning about and painting the portraits of these very impressive and inspiring Kentucky women.
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