Museum logo
Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1914.001.1
Type of Object Gavel
Collection Memorabilia Collection
Principal Artist Mansbendel, Peter Heinrich
Date 1914
Description Love, Liberty, Unity and Charity Gavel, 1914
Peter Mansbendel, (1883-1940)

To commemorate a native Texan as GFWC International President, the Texas Federation voted to commission Peter Mansbendel to design a gavel for Anna Pennybacker (1912-1916) that would be used at the 1914 Convention in Chicago. Mansbendel depicts four nude women symbolizing "woman's service to humanity." "Love consoles a weeping child; charity empties a horn of plenty filled with fruit and flowers…; unity holds the bundle of sticks ties together…; liberty holds the torch of enlightenment."

Gift of GFWC Texas, 1914.001

Notes In 1914 the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs commissioned Austin woodcarver Peter Mansbendel to design a gavel for the 12th Biennial Convention in Chicago in honor of native Texan and GFWC President Anna Pennybacker (1912-1916). This unique gavel illustrates GFWC's historical reliance on parliamentary procedure and exemplifies an extraordinary local handicraft.

Letter in object files describes the symbolism of the design, as told by the artists, and the presentation to Mrs. Pennybacker on the opening night of the Biennial in Chicago, 1914.

Object discussed in article in General Federation News, Jan. 1927, Vol. 7, No. 4, pg. 5, "Headquarters Items."

Source (TX) State Federation