Foto Friday: Isis in Iowa

Last Saturday I visited the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, located in West Branch, Iowa, President Hoover’s birthplace.


In addition to the museum, the grounds also contains the the cottage where Hoover was born, a Society of Friends Meetinghouse, and the gravesite of Pres. Hoover and his wife Lou Henry. I also found something unexpected, a statue of the goddess Isis.


Bronze statue of Isis, the Egyptian goddess of life

Before being elected president in 1928, Herbert Hoover was known as a great humanitarian. In 1914, during World War I, he became the chairman of the Commission for Relief of Belgium. The “children and citizens of Belgium” gave Hoover this bronze statue of Isis, sculpted by Auguste Puttmans, in appreciation of his service. Between 1921 and 1939, the statue resided on the campus of Stanford University, Hoover’s alma mater. But in 1939 Hoover had the statue moved to West Branch.


English translation of the French inscription on the statue.