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BARTHOLDI, Frédéric-Auguste

Colmar, Haut-Rhin 1834 - Paris 1904

Maker: Avoiron & Cie

La Liberté éclairant le monde

Liberty enlightening the World

c. 1879-1883

copper-plated cast zinc, imitation bronze patina, wood base

statuette

Dimensions (HxWxD): 24 x 7 x 7 in.

inscriptions on bronze base: Registered in Washington 31 August 1876 No9939 G
inscribed on bronze base: AVOIRON & Cie PARIS 4th July 1776
inscribed: on base, cast No.: C 22

Acc. No.: 1942.346

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. George A. Zabriskie

Photo credit: New-York Historical Society

© Artist : public domain


Provenance

  • 1942, Gift of Mr. George Zabriskie

Bibliography

  • N-YHS website, December 14, 2012
  • Grissom, p. 201

Exhibitions

  • 2000 New York

    The Changing Face of Liberty: Female Allegories of America, New York, New-York Historical Society, May 16-September 3, 2000

Comment

  • N-YHS website, December 14, 2012:
    One of the most widely recognized landmarks in the world, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States commemorating human liberty and friendship between the two nations. Liberty Enlightening the World, as the monumental statue was titled, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, an ardent patriot with a fascination for the colossal. Liberty's face bears the recognizable features of Bartholdi's mother, while the arms and torso were modeled after the sculptor's wife, Jeanne-Emilie.
    Liberty was intended for presentation to the United States on July 4, 1876 in honor of the nation's centennial, but sluggish fundraising slowed the statue's completion. The 30-foot raised arm and torch, constructed in time to be displayed at the International Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, generated great enthusiasm for the project. After the Centennial, the arm and torch were displayed in Madison Square for six years in order to raise money for the design and construction of the statue's massive concrete pedestal. In 1878, Bartholdi contracted with the Paris foundry Avoiron & Cie. to produce casts of Liberty in four sizes, including this two-foot reduction from Bartholdi's four-foot modèle d'étude.
    The completed statue was finally unveiled in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886, a day of celebration for the more than 1 million people who lined New York's bunting-draped streets to watch a parade of more than 20,000 marchers. At the time of her dedication, the Statue of Liberty was the tallest structure in New York, reaching 305 feet, and today remains a potent symbol of both New York and the nation.