Statue of Liberty, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Sculpture
Click on image to enlarge
The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States in 1887 in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty's symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.
The Statue of Liberty did not arise in New York Harbor's, Bedloe Island without overcoming considerable apathy and resistance to paying the $100,000 cost it took to build the base for a statue that no one seemed to want. It took Joseph Pulitzer and his newspaper, The World, to motivate people to contribute sufficient funds to complete America's part of the project.
Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture with the intention of finishing in 1876 to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. In the building of the statue, Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer to address structural issues associated with designing such a colossal copper sculpture. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) was commissioned to design the massive iron pylon and secondary skeletal framework which allows the Statue's copper skin to move independently yet stand upright.
On a rainy October 28, 1886, the 305 foot Statue was unveiled to over 1 million people who were enthralled by the site. As the construction took shape, many of the early non-supporters were converted by the majesty of the Statue of Liberty and lined up for the ceremonies.
Under the management of the National Park Service, the statue was restored and on July 5, 1986 the Statue re-opened to the public during Liberty Weekend, which celebrated her centennial.
The Emma Lazarus poem, "The New Colossus" was written for the statue in 1883, and engraved on a bronze plaque in 1903. The plaque is located on a wall of the museum, which is in the base of the Statue. (It has never been engraved on the monument itself). In its famous culminating lines, Liberty says:
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Medium : 1 print
Created/Published : August 21, 1885
Creator : not attributed
Housed in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress
Availability: Special order: ships in 3-4 weeks
Product #: pga02071