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Teddy Roosevelt, an American icon in butter.

Between 1889 and 1910 four sculpture portraits of Theodore Roosevelt graced two state fairs and one international exposition. The surprising thing about these pieces is not that they were of Roosevelt--he was after all a popular political figure and the President from 1901 to 1908. These four images of him, however, were all created in the unusual sculptural medium of butter. They are worth studying for a number of reasons. Together they present key iconographic types that define Roosevelt's popular image. They also invite an exploration of contemporary national debates about food reform and gender identification. (1)

The earliest butter sculpture of Roosevelt, done for the 1898 Minnesota State Fair, was a bas-relief image of him leading the Rough Riders in their charge up San Juan Hill. While no photograph of it has been found, there is a newspaper description. The second two examples were both for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis (figs. 1 and 2). One of these was an equestrian portrait of him as a western cowboy, and the other was a portrait bust of him as President. The fourth (fig. 3), from the 1910 Minnesota State Fair, presented Roosevelt dressed in safari garb, gun in hand, one foot on a dead lion.


The four types, Rough Rider, western cowboy, President, and big game hunter span the years of Roosevelt's fame from his heroism in the Spanish American War to a post-presidency safari trip. They were all types the American public would have been familiar with through the popular press and through Roosevelt's own writings. The types are not surprising, but the medium is. The first question is, "Why butter?"

History of Butter Sculpture

While the origins of butter sculpture are obscure, there is evidence to suggest it has been a form of banquet art practiced in various countries at least since the Renaissance. The earliest reference is a 1536 cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi, cook to Pope Pius V, who boasted of his elaborate table decorations that included not only sugar art but also butter sculpture. (2) There is also a legend that the great late eighteenth-century sculptor Antonio Canova first came to his patron's attention when, as a lowly kitchen boy, he carved an impressive centerpiece of a butter lion. (3) Whether or not the story is true, it is another illustration of the continuing tradition of butter sculpture as banquet art. By the early nineteenth century small butter sculptures and molded pats could be found on even middle class tables.

The story of how butter sculpture moved from the table to the fairs begins in 1876 when Mrs. Caroline Brooks of Helena, Arkansas, exhibited her famous bas-relief portrait of the "Dreaming Iolanthe" in the Women's Building at the Philadelphia Centennial (fig. 4). Mrs. Brooks, a farm wife with no official art training, said she started modeling in butter to help her family when their cotton crop failed. While it was common for farm women to be in charge of the dairy and while molded butter forms were also common, actually sculpting in the medium was not. Brooks may have started making butter images to help sell her butter, but she had higher ambitions for her butter art by the time of the Centennial. Eventually she would build on her triumph there to pursue training in Paris and Italy and earn a modest reputation as a sculptor who also worked in marble. But for our purposes, Mrs. Brooks is important because she represents, at least at the Centennial, the woman amateur associated with dairying. Her exhibition at a World's Fair marks the shift of butter sculpture to a more public arena. (4)


At the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, there also were butter sculptors. This time they exhibited not in a women's pavilion, but in the official state dairy displays under the sponsorship of local and regional creameries. Mrs. G. H. McDowell of Minneapolis supplied "some very pretty ornamental work" including flowers, vines, a bas-relief cow and a butter churn for the Minnesota section, Ruth Woodruff created a garden of butter flowers for Illinois, and Laura Worley was responsible for four butter portraits of exposition officials in the Indiana exhibit. We don't know much about the sculptors except that they all seemed to be talented amateurs who were connected to the dairy industry either as farm wives or wives of creamery owners. Their work, housed in ice-cooled, glass cases, served as a form of advertisement for a newly expanding industry. As one newspaper noted, butter sculpture "attracts the attention of visitors who would not be likely to show any special interest in tubs and jars of butter." (5) It could be added that it also brought sculpture to those who might not otherwise had an interest in art.


Caroline Brooks also exhibited at the Chicago Columbian Exposition, and she continued her butter displays five years later with contributions to the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha. The official dairy display included her butter portraits of Abraham Lincoln, President William McKinley, and Admiral George Dewey. The cases were still ice-cooled. (6) The first mechanically refrigerated display of butter sculpture took place at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo in 1901 where John K. Daniels provided an 11 foot long, 5 foot 4 inch model of the Minnesota State House. (7) Daniels, a professionally trained sculptor, who also worked in clay, bronze, and stone, was the official sculptor for the Milton Dairy Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, and had been supplying butter cows for the state fair for several years. (8) In 1904, his work appeared again as part of a spectacular exhibition of butter sculpture at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition. This was the biggest display yet. A central aisle in the Dairy Building separated two glassed-in areas. On one side the visitor could see the entire production of butter from cow to final product with live demonstrations. On the other were butter sculpture exhibits from over a dozen states. Typical examples--all of it in butter--included a dairymaid milking a cow from Washington State, a cornucopia from Nebraska, and from Kansas, a miniature model of the new agricultural college sat next to another grouping of a woman using a cream separator while an overturned, old-fashioned churn lay at her feet. For the Minnesota display, Daniels supplied a life-size tableau of three men in a canoe entitled, Father Hennepin and His Guides Discovering St. Anthony Falls (fig. 5). (9) While displays such as this at the world's fairs were impressive, butter sculpture also continued to be a feature at state fairs and regional dairy industry events.


The answer to the first question "Why butter?" is that it became a popular advertising medium for the dairy industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As the business consolidated with large, regional creameries, they were willing to spend money on displays to advertise their products and butter sculpture was a means of drawing the public's attention.

The second question is, "Why Roosevelt?" While statues of cows were the most popular butter sculpture subjects, portraits of politicians were a close second. For example, Daniels often did a butter bust of the sitting governor for the Minnesota State Fair. The Secretary of Agriculture, mayors and other politicians who could influence dairy policy appeared in butter busts at industry fairs (fig. 6). But as common as this was, no politician was done in butter as often as Roosevelt. A closer look at these four images shows how a popular political figure became an iconic image of American masculinity. It also demonstrates how a fledgling dairy industry helped the government gain the right to control the quality of the public's food. To tell that story, we must look more closely at the four butter images of Roosevelt.

Roosevelt in Butter

The first of the Roosevelt sculptures, the 1898, 500-pound monument celebrating Spanish-American War victories, was modeled by E. Frances Milton of St. Paul for the Minnesota State Fair. She was the wife of Tom Milton, owner of the Milton Dairy Company, and Daniels's predecessor as the company's sculptor. While there are no pictures of the piece, local newspapers described it in detail: an elaborate base, decorated with bas-reliefs depicting the battles of Santiago and Manila, supported an allegorical group of Columbia protecting a fallen soldier. Commentators singled out the bas-relief of the Charge of the Rough Riders, as being particularly noteworthy and beautiful. (10) The fair took place in September of 1898, only a month after the end of the war and only about two months after the Battle of San Juan Hill, the event that was to shape Roosevelt's image for the rest of his life.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was, in some ways, already a national figure by the time he earned his fame as the leader of the Rough Riders. Born of a wealthy New York family, he graduated from Harvard in 1880, and, in his own words, "rose like a rocket" in his political career. Elected to the New York Assembly in 1881, he served until 1884. After the tragic deaths of both his mother and his wife on a single day that year, Roosevelt found solace on a cattle ranch in the Dakota Badlands territory. It was also the place where he earned his cowboy credentials. He moved back east in 1886, remarried, and accepted an appointment as a United States Civil Service Commissioner. It was his work in Washington and later with the New York City Police Department that established his reputation as a reformer. Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1898 when the Spanish-American War began, Roosevelt resigned his office and organized a volunteer cavalry regiment to fight in Cuba. It was Colonel Roosevelt who led the charge up San Juan Hill in a daring act of bravery that would make his fame. Full-page photo engravings and color illustrations appeared on the covers of Funch, Harper's and Leslie's and the story was covered in all the newspapers. Admiral Dewey may have been the hero of Manila Bay, but Theodore Roosevelt was the hero of San Juan Hill. (11)


We do not know what Mrs. Milton's bas-relief at the 1898 Minnesota State Fair looked like, but we can speculate that it might have been drawn from the photographs or illustrations she would have seen in the popular press. One feature of these images that may have inspired her is that they often depicted Roosevelt on a horse. There were press accounts of a mounted Roosevelt waving his hat and rallying his troops before the great charge, but for the charge itself, he was on foot. The popular images of him as a Rough Rider, however, always have him on a horse. That is how he was presented in cartoons, prints, paintings, and sculpture. It was an image that would even supersede later depictions of Roosevelt as president. (12)


The next two Roosevelt butter sculptures were at the St. Louis 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. In the dairy building, among the butter sculpture displays, North Dakota offered an equestrian Roosevelt (fig. 1). Any image of Roosevelt on a horse would evoke associations with the Rough Riders in the public mind, and, no doubt, this one did as well. Such associations were reinforced by the fact that out on the Pike, the entertainment section of the fair, a concessionaire offered daily re-enactments of famous battles, including the charge up San Juan Hill. But the anonymous North Dakota sculptor who did this statue probably had something closer to home in mind in presenting Roosevelt on a horse. Roosevelt had bought his Dakota ranch in 1883 and for three years had raised cattle, hunted game, and led the western life. He wrote about his adventures in two books, one illustrated by Frederic Remington, and both including photographs of Roosevelt in western costume. Excerpts were also published in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, so the images would have been well known (fig. 7). (13) These seem the likely source for the butter sculpture. Indeed, the fringed shirt, gloves, and wide sombrero match the details in the photograph. North Dakota took great pride in the fact that the sitting president had resided in their territory and included a reproduction of Roosevelt's log cabin in their state exhibit. (14) Their celebration of him as a western cowboy in the dairy section would have been familiar to the public not only from the books and photographs but also from popular cartoons that often depicted Roosevelt as a bronco buster subduing the political spoils system. The third butter image of Roosevelt, also at the St. Louis Fair, is a much more traditional portrait bust (fig. 2). It was done by a Beaux-Arts trained New York sculptor named F. H. Frolich. (15) After the San Juan Hill triumph, Roosevelt's rocketing political career took off once again. He was elected governor of New York in 1898 and, two years later named William McKinley's vice presidential running mate. When McKinley was assassinated in September 1901, Roosevelt became president. In 1904, the year of the St. Louis Fair, he was elected president on his own right. Thus, the New York exhibitors had many claims to his image. He was a native son, a former governor, and now the president. There are numerous images of Roosevelt that might have inspired Frolich's St. Louis butter bust. Roosevelt was photographed, painted and sculpted repeatedly during his time in office. In fact, no president had ever been photographed as often. The new availability of photogravure images in the illustrated press is one of the hallmarks of the time.

The fourth butter image comes from Roosevelt's post-presidency (fig. 3). Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president ever to serve, being only forty-two when he took office. He served for seven years (1901-1908), and even though he could have run for another term, he said it was not good for democracy to have one person in that office for too long. It was a decision he would later regret; but he picked his successor, William Howard Taft, and, as soon as Taft was sworn in, Roosevelt sailed off to begin a year-long safari to Africa. Roosevelt had always been an avid hunter, but this was to be a hunting trip like no other. His son Kermit took a year off from Harvard to join him. The Smithsonian sent along three scientists to supervise the collecting, preservation and shipping back of specimens. Andrew Carnegie contributed $27,000 to help with expenses, and Roosevelt secured a $50,000 contract with Scribner's to supply them with monthly articles and an eventual book about the trip. There was adventure at every turn and Roosevelt recorded it in his diary, letters and articles. It was also well documented in photographs. At his return in June 1910, images of him as a big game hunter appeared on the covers of Fuck, Harper's and Collier's. But he was no sooner home than he re-entered politics and by August he was challenging the leadership of the Republican party and embarking on a sixteen-state lecture tour. As part of this tour he visited the Minnesota State Fair in 1910. (16)


In honor of that visit, the Milton Dairy commissioned John K. Daniels to create an image of Roosevelt in safari garb (fig. 3), holding his rifle, with one foot on a dead lion. The prototype for the pose probably came from some of the much-reproduced photographs from the safari (fig. 10). Besides photographs, there were also cartoons of Roosevelt as a big game hunter; a popular children's game about the safari was also introduced that year. The connection between Roosevelt and lions was one not only played up in the media, it was also an image that had some current political reverberations. It was widely reported when Roosevelt had set sail for Africa, financiers upset with his trust-busting activities, raised their champagne glasses to the departing ex-president with a "Let the lions do their share" toast. (17) The fact that Roosevelt was not eaten by the lions and instead returned triumphant to re-enter politics is another subtext to this image. Here is the common man's hero, still defeating the lions--be they wild beasts of the jungle or greedy rich businessmen. There is no doubt that in 1910, Roosevelt in safari garb was an image most Americans would have recognized.

Roosevelt would go on to form the Bull Moose Party and run again, unsuccessfully, for the presidency in 1912. Though he lost that election to Woodrow Wilson, he never lost his popularity or his wide, public recognition. He died in 1919, at age 60, his body weakened by another excursion he had undertaken five years before, in 1914, to explore an uncharted Brazilian river. Even the posthumous images of Roosevelt emphasized the idea of the Rough Rider, the hunter, the cowboy President, the same type of iconic images presented of him in butter between 1898 and 1910.

So, the question of why Roosevelt appeared so often in butter sculpture can be answered by looking at the context of the times. He was a famous national figure and visual images of him appeared repeatedly in the popular press. Roosevelt, himself, used these images as a form of self-promotion as he often posed for photographers, painters, and sculptors. He included commissioned illustrations in his own publications, and once even obligingly jumped his horse repeatedly across a fence so a photographer could get a good shot of it. Roosevelt was the first president to be filmed and one of the most often depicted in cartoons. When visitors to the dairy buildings saw him in butter in 1898, 1904, and 1910, they saw a figure who was very much in the news, in their national consciousness, and in their affections--the Rough Rider, the cowboy, the President, the big game hunter--these were the iconic types by which they knew him. He embodied turn-of-the-century virtues of bravery and manly vigor. The final question is, "What did these images of Roosevelt mean to the dairy industry and to the fair-going public?"

Butter vs. Oleo, Masculinity and Ephemerality

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the butter industry was fighting a pitched battle against the inroads of a rival called oleomargarine. Oleo had been invented in France in 1869 and was patented in the U. S. in 1873. By 1886 thirty-seven plants were making it in the United States and it was gaining wide acceptance as a cheap substitute for butter, much to the alarm of the dairy industry. They demanded protective legislation, and got it, first in an 1886 bill that imposed restrictions on labeling and packaging, and again in 1902 with the Grout bill, which taxed any oleo colored yellow. Eventually the oleomargarine industry avoided the tax by offering yellow dye packets with its naturally white product, but the battle continued throughout this period, and culminated in the 1906 Pure Food Act establishing the Food and Drug Administration. The battle between the dairy and the oleo industries is significant because it represents the first legislative and legal exploration of the idea that the government should control the quality of food as a matter of public health. The dairy interests claimed oleo, which at that point was made from animal fats, was an unsafe product made from the bones of diseased animals. (18) Under Roosevelt's administration the legislation passed and, as a result, he was seen as the protector of wholesome, natural food. A 1906 cartoon of Roosevelt (fig. 9) serving up prosperity to the country illustrates the point. The table is decorated with bowls labeled "meat inspection" and "pure food." Thus, when the butter sculptors presented their images of Roosevelt, they were not only presenting a popular, recognizable public figure, they were also presenting a dairy industry hero. Here was a man who had helped them preserve the purity of American butter.


Even so, there is a certain irony in these butter sculptures. Roosevelt embodied ideas of American masculinity. As his friend, Kansas newspaperman William Allen White once said, Roosevelt was a "masculine sort of person with extremely masculine virtues and palpably masculine faults." (19) Roosevelt's self-made image started with his youthful transformation of his own frail body into one of strength. Slight in stature and suffering from asthma, Roosevelt had such poor eyesight he needed strong glasses from an early age. He also had great intelligence and a bookish disposition. Determined to overcome his physical limitations and to make his body as vigorous as his mind, he exercised, boxed, hunted, rode, and engaged in physical labor until he had transformed himself. During his college years a doctor told him he had a heart condition and should limit his activities, but Roosevelt refused, saying he would rather not live than have to live like that.

The first image to reflect this self-made masculinity was that of the western cowboy. When he arrived in the West, locals thought him an eastern dude. He was 5 foot 10 and still slight in build, though his muscles were hard from college athletics. His glasses gave him the nickname of "Four Eyes" and his light tenor voice, eastern accent, and educated way of speaking (he once told a cowboy to "hasten forward quickly there" to cut off a straying calf), as well as his voracious appetite for reading caused skepticism and occasional ridicule. (20) But the western life of cattle ranching toughened both his body and character. "In that land we led a free and hardy life ... ours was the glory of work and the joy of living," he later wrote. (21) He described cattle drives where he would spend thirteen hours in the saddle; he once used his boxing skills to knock out a drunken ruffian armed with two pistols who tried to make fun of him in a saloon; and, in his most publicized adventure of all, he tracked down three outlaws, and then walked forty-five miles to bring them to jail.

The romantic image of the cowboy was not yet in place when Roosevelt went west, but his writing about his experiences as well as the later novels and illustrations by his friends Owen Wister and Frederic Remington would help shape the idea of that western type. It was a masculinized image of toughness earned in hard work. One of Roosevelt's friends described him on his return to the East in 1886 as "husky as almost any man I have ever seen...[he] was clear bone, muscle, and grit." (22)

That robust image was also reinforced by his audacity in the Spanish American War. He was determined he would not spend the war sitting at a desk even though his wife was recovering from a serious illness at the time, and he now had six children to support. "Roosevelt is going mad wild to fight and hack and hew," wrote his friend Winthrop Chandler. (23) The "splendid little war" gave him the chance, and he would always remember it as the highlight of his life. The fighting lasted about a month and the Rough Riders participated in three of the war's four major battles, but the most dramatic moment was the "Charge." By the battle's end ninety of the 450 Rough Riders were killed or wounded and even Roosevelt had minor wounds, though he finished the charge by killing a Spaniard with his pistol at point blank range as he crested the hill. The battle was well covered in the newspapers and Roosevelt published his own version of it within a year. The idea of the cowboy soldier further established Roosevelt's manly image. Here was someone brave to the point of death-defiance and he was quick to translate that into his political persona. As he campaigned for governor, a bugler played the "charge" before each speech and he offered war stories as evidence of his ability to lead. (24)


That masculinized image also followed him to the presidency where he embarked on a foreign policy that was expansionist and militaristic. The creation of the Panama Canal, the declaration of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, and the building of and then world-wide display of the Great White Fleet represented an aggressive attitude toward the world stage. "The nation that has trained itself to a cancer of unwarlike and isolated ease is bound in the end to go down before other nations who have not lost the manly and adventurous virtues," he once wrote. (25) He preached the "strenuous life" not only as personal, but also as national policy, and he applied it to trust-busting and progressive reform as well. (26)

Hunting was another part of that mascuinlized image. As early as 1887 he had helped to found the Boone and Crockett Club, whose purpose was to promote "manly sport with the rifle" as well as travel, exploration and conservation. (27) He had always enjoyed hunting, but the African trip was his chance at big game. Historian Sarah Watts described his hunting tales as a re-enactment of "the age-old battle of man proving his manhood against beast." (28) In his pioneering book, The History of Men (2005), Michael Kimmel explained that Roosevelt "served as a template for a revitalized American social character" and in his "compulsive masculinity" brought the idea of manhood to the level of a "national myth." (29)

Against that background, then, what does it mean to have these images of cowboy, Rough Rider, President, and game hunter in butter? Up until this time, butter sculpture had been largely the purview of women amateurs and their work was often noted for its delicacy and refinement. Women were traditionally in charge of butter making and the material seemed feminine in both its associations and its nature. One commentator, for example, praised Caroline Brooks' Iolanthe for its "fine ideal feeling" and "exceeding delicacy." (30) Subject matter such as flowers, cows, or milkmaids reinforced this feminization, as did the fact that the material was so ephemeral it wouldn't last unless it was in a refrigerated case.

The feminized associations of dairy products are also apparent in the way words are used. Milk is a product for babies and children. A weakling is a "milk toast," or as Roosevelt himself once wrote, a "milksop." He also once used the phrase "emasculated milk-and-water moralities" to condemn eastern elitism as opposed to western manly virtue. (31) Butter may not be quite so associated with weakness as milk, but we do say that one's knees turn to butter when one is afraid, and we often refer to something as being "buttery soft." We might think of butter as having a golden color and of something delicious as having a rich "buttery" taste, but even that seems to refer to hedonistic values alien to the masculine image of Roosevelt. So, what did it mean to have Roosevelt, the epitome of masculinity, representing the dairy industry?

One answer might be that butter sculpture had begun to change from its former identification with female amateurs who had connections with the dairy industry (a milkmaid such as Caroline Brooks or wife of a creamery owner such as Frances Milton). In the hands of professional male sculptors such as Daniels and Frolich, butter sculpture was lifted to a more prestigious, professional status. Daniels trained at several art schools in St. Paul and while he often did butter sculpture for the world fairs between 1901 and 1904 and for the state fairs from 1900 to 1930, he was known primarily as a professional sculptor. While less is known about Frolich, he was Beaux-Arts trained. A look at the images the two men created, Frolich's 1904 St. Louis bust or Daniels's 1910 safari statue, also shows they were using butter in the same way they used clay. Butter was a novelty in their hands, but not particularly feminine.


Another argument would be that when Daniels, Frolich and the other sculptors used Roosevelt as the subject matter, this in itself served to masculinize the product. The dairy industry was undergoing a major transformation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as it moved from the farm to regional creameries and eventually to national companies with widely recognized names such as Land O' Lakes and Meadow Gold. This transformation involved new technology and new methods of scientifically controlled production. It was a male-dominated industry with university-trained men in white lab coats supervising the work--a far cry from the milkmaid and her churn. The butter industry's fight against oleomargarine as a "fake" product is also part of this. A cartoon that appeared in the Creamery Journal in 1909 (fig. 10) depicted the industry as a gladiator protecting consumers with a shield of "purity" and a sword of "truth." The strong, masculine figure reminds one of the political cartoons of the time that often presented Roosevelt himself as a gladiator battling for the public welfare. The dairy industry's use of Roosevelt's image also suggests that just as Roosevelt was the "real thing," so was butter. There was nothing fake about either one of them. Both were as "natural" as nature itself.

But even with this newly masculinized, professionalized industry, it is still ironic to find Roosevelt in butter, and that was probably part of its appeal. The delight of seeing the Rough Rider, cowboy, game hunter, President in this material, on the one hand, boasted of the abundance of prosperity he had brought to the country (we have so much butter we can make statues of it); and, on the other, offered good-natured fun and an affectionate tribute. The butter industry may have become more masculine in this period, but the shoppers were still mostly women and consumption, home-centered. The butter displays at the fairs would continue to include cows, milkmaids and children well into the twentieth century. There may even have been, as I have suggested elsewhere, a certain nostalgia for simple farm life reflected in this rural, domestic subject matter. (32) But Roosevelt in butter suggested the other side of the battle. In portraying Roosevelt in butter, the industry found its own way to "walk softly and carry a big stick." The softness was in the butter, but the big stick was the larger-than-life personality of Theodore Roosevelt.

(1.) I am grateful to Washington and Lee University for a series of Lenfest Grants that supported this research, and to historians John Milton Cooper, Barry Machado, and Delos Hughes for their advice, as well as to the work of Karal Ann Marling, one of the first scholars to write about butter sculpture. Thanks also to James Boyles for his careful reading and suggestions.

(2.) Bartolomeo Scappi, Opera (1570; Venice: Alessandro de Vecchi, 1622), cited in Margaret Visser, The Rituals of Dinner (London: Penguin, 1991), 201. For the history of butter sculpture, see Pamela H. Simpson, "Butter Cows and Butter Buildings, A History of an Unconventional Sculptural Medium," Winterthur Forfolio, vol. 31, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 1-19; Karal Ann Marling, "The Origins of Minnesota Butter Sculpture," Minnesota History 50 (Summer 1987): 225-26; and Marling, Blue Ribbon: A Social and Fictorial History of the Minnesota State Fair (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990).

(3.) David Finn and Fred Licht, Canova (New York: Abbeville, 1983), 18. There is another form of butter sculpture that should be mentioned, namely the popular Buddhist tradition in Tibet. Since at least the 15th century, monks have modeled mandala images of flowers, animals, and deities in yak butter and used them as a part of their festivals. It is less than clear, however, that there is any connection between this and the banquet art of the west. See John Powers, "The Butter-Sculpture Festival of Kumbum," in Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 1995), 193-97.

(4.) The best material on Caroline Brooks is in the Chicago Historical Society (CHS). Included in the curator's files is Clio Harper, Caroline Shawk Brooks: The Story of the Remarkable Sculptor and Her Work (booklet labeled "reprint for Press Publications" and dated Nov. 1, 1893). See also Simpson, "Caroline Shawk Brooks: The Centennial Butter Sculptress," Woman's Art Journal, vol. 28, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2007): 29-36.

(5.) "Minnesota's Dairy Exhibit," Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine (October 1893): 15-16 for quote and for material on McDowell; "World's Fair Notes," Woman's Journal 23 (December 10, 1892): 398 for Worley; Diary of Catherine Ferry Haviland at the Columbian Exposition, book 5, September 7, 1893, and the Woodruff reference come from a website no longer available.

(6.) S. C. Bassett, "Dairy and Dairy Products," in John Wakefield, A History of the Trans Mississippi and International Exposition, May 1903, manuscript, Omaha Public Library. Accessed on line, Sept. 8, 2005,

(7.) Minnesota Board of Managers for the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo NY, "The Bread and Butter State," in Report of the Minnesota Board of Managers, May 1, 1901 (St. Paul, MN: Pioneer Press, 1902), 16-19; The Dairy Interests of Minnesota: Minnesota's Capitol in Butter (St. Paul, MN: North Western Line, 1901) brochure in Minnesota Historical Society Collection, St. Paul.

(8.) "Minnesota Butter at St. Louis," St. Faul Farmer, 1904, newspaper clipping in Minnesota Board of Managers World's Fair Scrapbook (St. Louis, 1904), Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul; John K. Daniels, "Famous Sculptor Dies at 103," Minneapolis Tribune, March 10, 1978; "Pioneers Statue Carver Speaks Out," Minneapolis Star, Sept. 25, 1965, clippings in biography Files, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul. Daniels's butter sculpture was frequently mentioned in press coverage of the state fairs and there are a number of advertising cards put out by the sponsoring creamery companies that feature his work.

(9.) Mark Bennitt, ed., The History of the Louisiana Furchase Exposition (St. Louis: Universal Exposition Pub. Co., 1905), 411, 648; Report of the Missouri Commission to the Louisiana Furchase Exposition, February 1905 (Jefferson City, MO: Hugh Stephens Printing Co., 1905), 242-43; David Francis, The Universal Exposition of 1904 (St. Louis: Louisiana Purchase Exposition Co., 1913), 2:181.

(10.) "Exhibit of Fancy Butter," St. Faul Globe, September 18, 1898; also cited in Marling, "The Origins of Minnesota Butter Sculpture," 227, and Blue Ribbon, 63.

(11.) There is a vast literature on Roosevelt. See Kathleen Dalton, Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life (New York: Alfred Knopf, 2002); Aida Donald, Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Basic Books, 2007); Nathan Miller, Theodore Roosevelt: A Life (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1992); Edmund Morris, Theodore Rex (New York: Harper Collins, 2001); David McCullough, Mornings on Horseback (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981), and Sarah Watts, Rough Rider in the White House (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003).

(12.) James G. Barber, Theodore Roosevelt, Icon of the American Century (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press for the Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery, 1998), an exhibition catalogue, offers an excellent array of Roosevelt portraits from high style to cartoon images. See also Albert Shaw, A Cartoon History of Roosevelt's Career (New York: The Review of Reviews Co., 1910).

(13.) For Roosevelt in the Dakota Badlands, see McCullough, Mornings on Horseback, 316-350 and Watts, Rough Rider in the White House, 123-192, as well as G. Edward White, The Eastern Establishment and the Western Experience, The West of Frederic Remington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Owen Wister (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968). For Roosevelt's own writing on the subject, see Theodore Roosevelt, "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman," and "Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail" in The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, Herman Hagendorn, ed., The National Edition, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924).

(14.) David Francis, The Universal Exposition of 1904, (St. Louis: Louisiana Purchase Exposition Co., 1913), 2: 151.

(15.) Bennitt, History of the Louisiana Furchase Exposition, 648; Report of the Kansas Commissioners to the Louisiana Furchase Centennial Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904 (Topeka: Crane & Co., 1905), 115.

(16.) Roosevelt, "African Game Trails," in The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, Herman Hagendorn, ed., The National Edition, vol. 4 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924); Watts, 176, 183-186; H. Paul Jeffers, Roosevelt the Explorer (Lanham, New York, Oxford: Taylor Trade Publications, 2003), 135-208.

(17.) Jeffers, Roosevelt the Explorer, 135. The story is repeated in most of the Roosevelt biographies and mentioned in Carl Akeley's introduction to "African Game Trails," in The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, vol. 4, though he credits members of the Senate as making the remark.

(18.) Grey Strey, "The Oleo Wars: Wisconsin's Fight over the Demon Spread," Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 85, no. 19 Autumn 2001): 3-15; "How Oleomargarine Bill was Passed," Creamery Journal, vol. 19 (Sept. 1, 1908): 18; H. R. Wright, "Oleomargarine--Its Origin, Methods of Manufacture, and its Fraud," Creamery Journal, vols. 21-22, five-part series (Nov. 15 and Dec. 15 1910; Jan. 15 1911). "Honest Butter," Topeka Daily Capitol, Sept. 13, 1894, clipping in album, "Dairying" (Kansas Historical Society, Topeka).

(19.) Quoted in Michael S. Kimmel, The History of Men, Essays on the History of American and British Masculinities (Albany: State University of New York, 2005), 82.

(20.) Quoted in McCullough, 329 and in most of the Roosevelt biographies.

(21.) Roosevelt, Autobiography, p. 112-113; quoted in White, The Eastern Establishment ..., p. 62.

(22.) McCullough, 350.

(23.) Watts, 161.

(24.) Ibid, 170.

(25.) Kimmel, The History of Men, 99.

(26.) See also Michael Kimmel, Manhood in America, A Cultural History (New York: The Free Press, 1996), 166, 181-3.

(27.) George Bird Grinnell, Introduction to "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman." in The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, v. 1, xvii.

(28.) Watts, 184.

(29.) Kimmel, The History of Men, 82.

(30.) Frank H. Norton, Illustrated Historical Register of the Centennial Exhibition, Fhiladelphia, 1876, and the Exposition Universelle, Faris, 1878 (New York: The American News Company, 1879), 156.

(31.) Kimmel, Manhood in America, 166 for "milksop," and 181 for "milk-and-water moralities."

(32.) This is an argument I make in "Butter Cows and Butter Buildings." Winterthur Forfolio: 17. Given the reality of butter being made in factories with sanitized machines, the cows and milkmaids may have been a romantic, nostalgic ideal that reinforced the industry's claims to authenticity.
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Author:Simpson, Famela H.
Publication:Southeastern College Art Conference Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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