SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The completed Martha Hughes Cannon statue was unveiled Monday at a ceremony held at the Utah State Capitol building.
The statue, which was scheduled to be installed in D.C. this summer, was temporarily installed on the 3rd Floor of the Utah State Capitol building, according to officials.
The statute of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon is said to weigh in at 550 pounds, stands 7 feet 6 inches tall and the copper used in creating the bronze is entirely Utah copper donated by Rio Tinto.
Martha will reportedly remain in the State Capitol until COVID-19 restrictions allow for an unveiling ceremony in National Statuary Hall.
Sen. Deidre Henderson, co-chair of the Committee, said, “This project has united Utahns across the political spectrum. As we join together to honor our past, we also feel renewed hope for our future. This unity and hope belies any divisiveness, disease, or disaster that may otherwise cast shade on the year 2020. Martha’s journey is not over – this is a temporary, but fitting home for her. We will continue working together to #SendMartha until she reaches her final destination in Washington, D.C.”
During the 2018 Legislative session, Utah lawmakers voted to send a statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, who served as the country’s first female state senator, to the U.S. Capitol to represent Utah, according to officials. As a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, Dr. Cannon played a vital role to ensure the rights of women to vote and hold public office were included in the Utah constitution.
After a national search, the Committee selected Utah Artist Ben Hammond to design the new statue, which the concept was unveiled in September 2019, according to a press release.
Committee members, members of the Martha Hughes Cannon family, and Artist Ben Hammond were in attendance for the unveiling along with donors, community supporters, and Utah officials. Many in attendance have reportedly been involved in the process since the beginning and were thrilled to watch the project moved through the process from legislation to clay to bronze.
Rep. Karen Kwan Quote, a co-chair of the Committee, said, “2020 has been a year of change and upheaval. Despite its struggles, or because of its struggles, this has been a fitting tribute to the battles for suffrage that cumulated with the passage of the 19th amendment, 100 years ago this year. Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon was a trailblazer, suffragist, and the first female state senator in the country. Her installation here, and later in D.C. marks a victory for all women. I’m especially proud of the work done by my Black, Indigenous, and other sisters of color in history who fought for the right to vote, even though there was no guarantee that BIOPC communities would be able to vote.”