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Updated 1:00 PM October 4, 2005




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New Martha Cook resident

Among the dozens of "Cookies" residing at the Martha Cook Residence Hall, one stands out more than the others. She is "Edwina," a life-size sculpture named after her creator and former Cook resident Edwina Jaques.
Jaques and "Edwina" (Photo by Martin Vloet,
U-M Photo Services

With a face and hands of 24-karat gold leaf, "Edwina" stands in the hall's foyer, welcoming women from around the world to the sisterhood of the all-female residence.

"I envisioned a statue which would represent the diverse nature of a Martha Cook woman," Jaques says. "One who challenges the University world, bringing a modern outlook to education, yet also celebrates the gentle heart of such a woman and recognizes the womanly arts that bind our past and future."

Made of fiberglass and adorned with polymer clay, Italian mosaic glass tiles and semiprecious gems, "Edwina" has an overskirt and headdress of elaborately knotted waxed linen cord. The skirt is constructed to carry ivory and gold-leaf hearts with short messages from Martha Cook alumnae, residents and friends. "Edwina" recently was unveiled at the residence hall's 90th anniversary celebration.

"Edwina Jaques' immense generosity speaks to the spirit of community which is alive and well in women who have called Martha Cook home," says Marion Scher, Martha Cook building director.

Jaques completed most of the work on the statue in her studio in England and shipped the work in pieces to Martha Cook, where she has taken up residence again to assemble and put the finishing touches on the sculpture. The statue was nameless until the Martha Cook Board of Governors declared she should be known as " Edwina."

A native of Saginaw, Mich., who resides in Kent, England, Jaques holds bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts degrees from U-M and a special place in her heart for the University. As a child, she had a heart anomaly requiring surgery. The corrective procedure was completed successfully at U-M, so it was natural for Jaques to incorporate hearts into her work.

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