The mezzanine before the Gothic Gallery showcases a collection of artworks by local artist Helen Farnsworth Mears. Born in Oshkosh in 1871, her career as a sculptor pushed the boundaries for women artists. Mears trained at the Art Insititute of Chicago.
The Paine holds the largest collection of Mears sculptures, but you will also see Mears’ work at Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. Mears’ most famous work is a sculpture of suffragist and temperance reformer Frances E. Willard. It was the first statue of a woman in the Capitol, as well as the first statue created by a woman included in the Capitol's collection. You can see another Mears sculpture, Genius of Wisconsin, displayed at the Wisconsin State Capitol.