Courage in Language and Thought – The Dreiser Legacy


Theodore Dreiser, an internationally renowned writer born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1871 is the author of eight novels, many short stories and at least 15 non-fiction works. His novels, Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy, have been translated into more than 20 languages and are on virtually every list of the most important novels of the 20th century. In addition, Dreiser’s ground-breaking work in fiction defined American Naturalism and inspired not only his contemporaries but continues to inspire writers in the 21st century.

Courage in Language and Thought – The Dreiser Legacy is our working title for the future sculpture. The sculpture will be located on the grounds of the Vigo County Public Library, adjacent to its north (Walnut Street) entrance. The area around the sculpture will be designed as a place for learning, reflection and dialogue; and it will be fully accessible.

This sculpture will become the third on the “Cultural Trail,” which was established when Max Ehrmann at the Crossroads was installed in 2010. The second, A Song for Indiana, was installed in 2014 in Fairbanks Park, honoring Dreiser’s brother, composer Paul Dresser.

“Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.”
Theodore Dreiser

Art Spaces is still accepting contributions to Courage in Language and Thought – The Dreiser Legacy and welcomes contributions in any amount. Gifts at the $500 level will be recognized on a permanent plaque at the site. To donate, click this link to move to our PayPal page.

The artist selection process is underway and three proposals are currently under review.  The commissioned artist will be announced in February 2018 and the sculpture will be installed and dedicated in the summer.

Through this project and ongoing educational programs the community will learn more about and celebrate an important writer from Terre Haute whose contributions to literature reflect positively on Terre Haute throughout the world.