Juliette Gordon Low, the Artist
Today is October 11, 2019, International Day of the Girl. It seems fitting to remember Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, and the important role this one woman has played in empowering, supporting and celebrating girls, worldwide! May her spirit live on and her work continue to flower out into the world for girls and young women everywhere!!
I love that Juliette Gordon Low, 'Daisy’s' favorite subject in school was art, and that she had a passion for painting, drawing, poetry and sculpting throughout her life.
Art was a consistent theme and something she deeply understood. She knew its value first hand, both as a creator and as an explorer of different mediums. I believe her natural curiosity contributed to her "out-of-the-box" thinking and willingness to take on new challenges in life - a creative solutionary before her time! I am grateful for her courage on behalf of the millions of girls that she's inspired and empowered to make this world a better, safer and kinder place for girls and women!
In school, Gordon Low spent more time pursuing art and poetry than she did working on school work. She wrote and performed plays, and she started a newspaper with her cousins called The Malbone Bouquet, which featured some of her early poetry. She formed a club with her cousins, with the goal of helping others. The Helpful Hands Club learned to sew, and tried to make clothes for the children of Italian immigrants. She was dubbed "Crazy Daisy" by her family and friends, due to her eccentricities. Her cousin Caroline described her by saying, "While you never knew what she would do next, she always did what she made up her mind to do."
Gordon Low's parents raised her with traditional Southern values, and they emphasized the importance of duty, obedience, loyalty, and respect. By the age of 12 she had started boarding school, attending several boarding schools during her teen years, including Miss Emmett's school in New Jersey, the Virginia Female Institute, the Edgehill School, and Mesdemoiselles Charbonniers, a French finishing school in New York. While studying at Edgehill, she joined the secret group Theta Tau (based on the sorority of the same name), where members held meetings and earned badges. In 1880, after she had finished boarding school, Juliette took painting lessons in New York. Among her teachers was Robert Walter Weir, a prominent landscape painter.
Juliette would return to art again and again to fill her days. After her husband died, she even began sculpting larger projects such as carving a mantelpiece for one home and designing a set of iron gates for another. These pieces and more can still be seen at The Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia.
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