IDA RICHARDSON 2018-11-26T12:21:37-05:00

Project Description

THE ICON: Ida Richardson

THE LEGACY: Ida Richardson didn’t like the spotlight, and that was a problem. Not only was she determined to champion a litany of civic causes, but she had a family fortune to give away, and that tends to draw attention. Rather than basking in accolades, Richardson simply kept her head down and toiled away, working to make New Orleans a better place. That included a $140,000 gift to Tulane University in 1893 (some $3 million today) to construct and outfit a new building for its medical school — but that was just the most attention-getting gift of what was a lifetime of giving. When The Daily Picayune awarded its annual Loving Cup to Richardson in 1907, she was, typically, a no-show. They honored her anyway. “We know (of) her unwillingness to have public mention of her deeds,” Charles Rosen said upon presenting the award to her in absentia, “yet there are times when the word must be said, in honor not only of herself but of her people — and this is such a time. … Thousands of lights has she kindled, yet in the dark has she ever remained.”

THE ARTIST: Jeremy Paten

THE INSPIRATION: “The beautiful soul of a divinely inspired woman has sought out the poor and the friendless, the sick and the suffering, and has lifted them up. … Desiring no recognition, avoiding all publicity, anxious only to perform her highest duty, her chosen mission, she has poured out her devotion, for the love of her kind, for the love of God and of all his children.” — Charles Rosen, upon presenting The Daily Picayune’s Loving Cup for 1907 to Ida Richardson