The woman behind one of the city’s most iconic statues was a legend in her time before being almost entirely forgotten. With renewed attention from another Madison landmark, Audrey Munson is sparking inspiration again and regaining her spot in the city’s history.
She stands stately and elegantly atop the Wisconsin State Capitol. Sun glints off her golden robes as she presides over her city, taller than any downtown buildings that surround her.
Madison schoolchildren learn about the statue named Wisconsin, and how she points her right hand eastward toward Lake Monona, holds a globe with an eagle perched atop in her left hand and wears a helmet adorned with grapes and a badger. But few people realize the statue’s commanding form was based on a real woman. And even fewer know her glamorous and tragic story.
Meet Audrey Munson in the links below.