The Case of the Mystery Statue: Solved!


The story behind the ‘no-name’ statue that appeared on campus last week.

The newest addition to the Agricultural Administration lawn is a dedication to pioneering entomologists. The sculpture was created by artist Susie Chisholm of Savannah, Ga., a sculpture of three individuals observing a small butterfly, which represents one of the primary missions of a land grant university – providing education to the general public through the Extension service.

“The individuals portrayed in the sculpture are now frozen in time at the age each would have been in 1924, when the science of entomology was just beginning to capture public attention.

The standing figure is J.J. Davis, who served as head of the Purdue Department of Entomology from 1920 to 1956. He inaugurated a four-year pest control curriculum in 1946, one of the first programs of its kind in the country. He believed entomologists should share the pleasure of scientific discovery with the general public. He did this through humor, even publishing the “The Entomologists’ Jokebook” in 1937.

The young boy depicts John V. Osmun who became head of the Department of Entomology in 1956, when Davis retired. Osmun was known for his interest in the success of the entomology students and maintained contact with them long after they left Purdue.

Rachel Carson is the young woman holding the swallowtail butterfly. She was a marine biologist, conservationist and pioneering nature writer in the 1950s. Carson’s environmental concerns led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970 under President Nixon. Her last book The Sense of Wonder (1965) was based on her belief that “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder … he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

An event will be held for the dedication of the entomologist sculpture on April 8th.

Event At A Glance:

WHAT: Dedication of “The Entomologist” sculpture

WHEN: 11 a.m., April 8

WHERE: Lawn area in front of Purdue Agricultural Administration Building, 615 W. State St., West Lafayette

WHO: Scheduled speakers are Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture; Stephen Cameron, Head and Professor of Purdue Entomology; Dave Mueller, Purdue Entomology alumnus and founder of Insects Limited; and artist Suzie Chisholm from Savannah, Ga.

To read more of the official article in the exponent, click here. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s