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More than 50 years ago, and more than 6, miles from Fort Worth, three young Girl Scouts-Libby, Hiroko and Audrea-posed for a bronze statue that ified the friendship between U. It depicts a Japanese and an American Girl Scout shaking hands and saluting in what was then the official Girl Scout handshake.
Standing on a lower step is an American Brownie Scout, also saluting and holding a small bird in her other hand. On Oct. The paintings, rendered in acrylic paint, oil paint, gold leaf and silver leaf, were ly exhibited at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park.
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The artist is Tanaka. Her inspiration was the bronze statue in Japan. At the time, the Brownie Girl Scout model, Labney, could not be located. The bronze statue is the work of Japanese sculptor Kensei Kato.
Both U. Scouts making money by selling marigold seeds, and baking and selling cookies; while Japanese Girl Scouts made and sold postcards. The statue was unveiled in a ceremony with U. Girl Scouts planted yellow roses, marigolds and pansies in a trefoil-shaped garden located in front of the statue.
In Septemberupon the recommendation of the Fort Worth Art Commission's Gift and Loans Committee, the Fort Worth City Council voted to accept the donation of Tanaka's artwork, as well as appropriate public art funds to cover transportation and installation of the paintings.
The Fort Worth Central Library was selected as the permanent location for the paintings, as it offers access to the public seven days a week.
Space is ideal for programming school asments, Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities and events, and other collaborative community opportunities. The addition of the two paintings strengthens the Library's role as a destination and reinforces the City of Fort Worth's commitment to international friendship as embodied in its Fort Worth Sister Cities International program.
The paintings bring a remarkable story that spans the globe, and your presence attests to the international bond between Girl Scouts. Your paintings will set a wonderful example for our youth about the enduring nature of true friendship, as well as the importance of seeking peace and understanding with all cultures.
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As to the ificance of the art for the City of Fort Worth, Tanaka said: "Culture, religion and poverty have created conflict among us in today's world. Although Japan and the U. The Friendship statue is a symbolic figure that shows people of the world holding hands. It is my hope that these paintings can also act as a bridge to world peace for future generations of boys and girls.
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