Glenna Goodacre, 1939-2020

  • Glenna-Goodacre-creator-of-the-Vietnam-Womens-Memorial-WWP

Woman Category: ArtsWoman Tags: Sculptress, The Pioneering Women of the National Mall Neighborhood, and WDC Metro Area Women

  • HerStory

    An award-winning famous American sculptress, who designed the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in DC.

    Born in Lubbock, TX, studied at Colorado College, and after taking classes at the Art Students League in New York, she moved to New Mexico in 1983. Goodacre is well known for her figurative sculptures, which depict real-life figures, usually in full-size scale and realistic facial expressions. Many of her art and sculptures are set in the open public space, as well as private and museum collections all over the US. One of her most famous works is the 8-foot standing portrait of President Ronald W. Reagan.
    Through her art, Goodacre often commemorates symbols of women’s worth and independence, such as The Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, DC, and a smaller replica of it is at Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in New Mexico. The memorial perpetuates the female contribution during the Vietnam War, and it was the first monument to honor American women.
    In 2000, the Sacagawea dollar entered circulation in the US, which after a nationwide competition, Goodacre was chosen to design. It portrays the important Native-American woman that helped the new settlers and was later recognized by the suffragists as a symbol of their cause. The design was unveiled at the White House by First Lady Hillary Clinton. Goodacre retired from sculpting in 2016, at the age of 77.

    About the Vietnam Women’s Memorial: “Women have looked at it and said, ‘That was me. That’s how I felt’”

    About the Vietnam Women’s Memorial: “Women have looked at it and said, ‘That was me. That’s how I felt’”


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • In 2007, she went into a coma caused by a head injury, but she got better and a year after she unveiled a new sculpture named “Crossing the Prairie”.
    • She married C.L. Mike Schmidt, and their daughter is the 1980s supermodel Jill Goodacre.
    • Streets and locations were named in her honor, such as a downtown Lubbock street, which extends from the Jones AT&T Stadium at University Avenue to the east.
  • More About Her Legacy
    Creations By and About Her:

    * Books she wrote


    * Honorary doctorates from Colorado College, her alma mater, and Texas Tech University in her hometown of Lubbock
    * Inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock (1997)
    * The James Earl Fraser Sculpture Award for her work at the Prix De West Exhibition (2002)
    * The Texas Medal Of Arts (2003)
    * New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts
    * Inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in the Fort Worth historic district
    * Was named the 2008 "Notable New Mexican"
    * Won many awards at the National Academy of Design and the National Sculpture Society exhibitions in New York

  • Watch and Learn More

  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Glenna Goodacre and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial

    Produced by the Dickinson Research Center at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and funded by the A. Keith Brodkin Contemporary Western Artists Project

  • Photo credit - WWP team

  • Citations and Additional References:
    Galleria Silecchia website.
    Wikipedia page.