Electra’s 90th anniversary celebrated in new exhibit at Alabama Power Archives

On May 10, 1926, an elegant, gilded female figure with lightning bolts in her hands and hair was carefully anchored atop the newly opened corporate headquarters of the Alabama Power Company.

New York sculptor Edward Field Sanford Jr. called the statue “The Divinity of Light.” But it wasn’t long before folks in Birmingham dubbed her “Miss Electra.”

For nine decades, Electra has graced the Birmingham skyline – except for some rumored, romantic, midnight meetings with another monumental mythical giant who resides high above the city: Vulcan. 

This Thursday, May 19, Alabama Power will celebrate Electra’s 90th birthday with the opening of a new exhibit in the Alabama Power Archives Museum: “Electra: The Divinity of Light: 1926 - 2016.” The exhibit illuminates Electra through stories, historic images and original paintings, prints and sculpture inspired by her. The original works by Alabama artists are for sale. Proceeds go to the artists.

A reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 19 opens the exhibit in the Archives Museum. The show runs through Aug. 19.

The Archives Museum is located inside Alabama Power’s historic 1925 building (Miss Electra’s home), which is part of the company’s Corporate Headquarters complex in downtown Birmingham. To get to the museum, enter through the company’s main atrium entrance at 600 North 18th St. and stop by the front desk to receive a pass. Normal museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.