Ney Day

Last Saturday Bill and I attended Ney Day on the grounds of the Elisabet Ney Museum in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The event honored the legacy of sculptor Elizabet Ney by celebrating women in the arts, sciences, and civic culture. This year’s Ney Day was originally scheduled for mid-May, but had to be postponed due to rain. Saturday was warm and sunny—perfect weather for an outdoor festival.

I had visited the museum a few years ago and learned that Ney built this studio/residence in 1892. After her death in 1907, friends bought the building and grounds, which are now managed by the City of Austin. The contents were bequeathed to the University of Texas, but were to remain in the building.

Ney is best-known for her sculptures of Texas heroes Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston that now stand in the main lobby of the Texas State Capitol. The plaster casts of these statues are displayed inside the museum, along with other examples of her work.

After touring the museum, Bill and I visited the information booths that were set up behind the building. Some of the city and civic organizations offered children’s craft activities. A few food trucks were parked on a nearby street.

We had timed our visit to see our favorite street band, Minor Mishap Marching Band. As always, they were entertaining.

A member of The Lady Cans, a Girl Scouts robotics team, explained their STEM program and showed me how to drive one of their robots. She was the team’s Safety Engineer and thought she might want to study engineering when she goes to college in a few years. Our discussion was very much in keeping with Ney Day’s intention of celebrating women—of all ages—in the sciences.

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