GROUP RAISING MONEY TO CREATE FIRST STATUE OF WOMAN IN CENTRAL PARK

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A statue of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton would be placed at 77th Street at the western edge of Central Park. Image via monumentalwomen.org website.

Of the 23 statues of historical figures in Central Park, not a single one features a woman.

films-not-for-ourselves-alone-detailsA group is working to change that, raising money for a statue that would honor Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (pictured at right), leaders in the women’s suffrage movement. The names of other female leaders would also be inscribed on the statue.

The statue would be located in Central Park at West 77th Street and Central Park West. “The statue’s strategic location—across from the New-York Historical Society and near the American Museum of Natural History—will ensure that many of Central Park’s 40 million annual visitors become more aware of women’s contributions to our shared history,” a website about the project, monumentalwomen.org, notes.

The group has the backing of the NYC Parks Department (although it will be privately funded). “Since the early days of my time at NYC Parks, I’ve agreed that it’s long past time to honor the contributions of the women’s suffrage movement with a monument – and what better place to do it than in Central Park?” wrote Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

They’re attempting to raise $1.5 million to commission, install, and maintain the statue, and they’re looking for sculptors.

NEWS | 37 comments | permalink
    1. Mary says:

      I am all for honoring influential women but given the constant articles about the need for funds to maintain the park, I don’t know if this is the best use of donations – $1.5 million could go a long way towards a lot of other priorities.

      • ctp says:

        The article clearly states that it will be privately funded.

        • Independent says:

          I would suggest re-reading what Mary wrote.

          “I don’t know if this is the best use of donations”

          “donations”, at least in this context, is entirely consistent with “privately funded”.

          The fact remains that, to quote Mary again, “$1.5 million could go a long way towards a lot of other priorities”.

          If Central Park has any of the type of glaring safety hazards that I have observed and noted in Riverside Park, then fixing those would take priority over constructing* any statue.

          *”erecting” could possibly be considered a “microaggression” in this context…

          That said, if such a project is going to proceed, I nominate the redoubtable woman of valor, Phyliss Schlafley (may she be blessed with many more years in health and happiness), for the honor.

    2. UWS mom says:

      I mentioned this to my 12 year old son and said I couldn’t believe there are no female statues in the park. He responded, “What? But what about the mermaids?” Exactly, lol.

      • UWSider says:

        UWS Mom:

        I thought of Alice. It’s really sad that I never noticed this. I guess the invisibility of women is the status quo.

    3. Terry says:

      That’s not actually IN Central Park– The site is outside the Naturalists’ Gate entrance wall.
      Hopefully there will be no glass ceiling over the statue of these monumental women….

    4. Sean says:

      Will it be a Kardashian or will it be Bella Abzug? You decide.

    5. Kindly Dr. Dave says:

      Alice in Wonderland is feminine and fabulous.

    6. Juan says:

      Wait a few months and honor a former Senator who represented NY who is going to be the first female president of the United States. And put it right in front of the Trump sign at Wollman Rink.

      • john says:

        So then we would call it Liar’s rink?

        • Independent says:

          Actually, since /both/ Hillary Rodham-Clinton /and/ Donald Trump are serial brazen liars, it should be a plural form– Liars Rink or Liars’ Rink.

    7. Janet Wasserman says:

      I’m appalled that the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt has been left since it was erected at 72d Street and Riverside Drive – just outside an entrance the park. Few tourists or other visitors see it. Most Upper West Siders who live outside that immediate area don’t even know about it. ER should be moved to a prominent spot in Central Park.

    8. There are three lovely women playing in the Untermyer Fountain in the Conservatory Garden. They’ve been there since 1947, in case no one has ever noticed!

      • ctp says:

        They are not real people though, that is the point, to honor real women of historical significance, not mermaids or angels or fantasies or fictional children, actual women.

    9. Eagle Eye says:

      I have an even better one. Nobel prize winner, Wangari Muta Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

      Make it bigger than all the others like a giant baobab tree. That will get noticed.

    10. Eli says:

      Wow. I hadn’t noticed. Heck, even Balto was a male dog!

    11. jezbel says:

      It’s certain past time that important women’s likenesses grace the perimeter and internal areas of Central Park. As someone else her suggested Eleanor Roosevelt would be a great place to start. But let’s not forget contemporary women too. Brooke Astor was crucial in putting together modern New York City. Perhaps her family would like to have something made? And of course Bella Abzug was all about New York City. The birds would love her hat.

    12. Jimmy says:

      Caitlyn Jenner!!

    13. Jimbo says:

      I recommend a statue of Mary Glatzel aka Mugable Mary.Mary was a member of the NYPD Decoy Unit.Mary was “mugged” over 300 times as a decoy.Many of those robberies took place in and around Central Park.
      Just a thought………

    14. UWS Steph says:

      Where is Daniel Chester French when ya need him! (I know, he’s left this plain a while ago)! I don’t know any women sculptures that would do the job, in a Momumental way. ; (

    15. S. Hayes says:

      There is quite a beautiful statue above the
      Bethesda Fountain, but unfortunately she (this angel) is not modeled after someone “real”.
      And at 59th and 5th, there is a woman next to General Sherman. The model was very real and an ex-slave. And of course outside the park.
      There you have it; reality outside the box, or fantasy can only be admired as ideal but quite
      above us. May the next statue(s) be as noble.

    16. Melanie says:

      I am 62 … I remember this being an issue when I was 20 and wondering who the F Fitz- Greene Halleck was. This was back in the stone ages and required a trip to the 42nd Street Library. It struck me that in JHS and HS, Emily Dickinson, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly and the Bronte sisters had been required reading but not good old Fitz-Greene. But he got the statue

    17. I worked on this campaign. There is a moratorium on erecting statues in the park, but the nonprofit behind this got an exception made, because there are NO statues in the park honoring real women. (Whereas there are 23 honoring real men–including some pretty despicable characters.) The entrance to the park where the statue will live is considered within park boundaries, and it’s a pretty prominent place because it’s right across from the American Natural History Museum and the NY Historic Society. All statues in the park must be privately funded. (That’s how we ended up with so many random men being honored.) So if you find this situation shocking and appalling, go to monumentalwomen.org and donate $10 (or $20 or $50). The only way we’re going to change this situation is if everyone gives.

    18. Sean says:

      Barbra Streisand would be a perfect choice.

    19. JonJones says:

      Whatever you do, don’t hire the guy who sculpted the Scary Lucy statue in Celoron, NY!

    20. dannyboy says:

      I would like to see a statue of my grandmother erected. She was a very brave woman.

    21. CB says:

      Am now thinking about women who could credibly be recognized with statues, and there are plenty. Just off the top of my head … In addition to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, you’ve got Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Sojourner Truth. There’s Harriet Tubman. There’s Elizabeth Blackwell (first woman doctor in the U.S.). Mary Harris Jones (“Mother” Jones). Frances Perkins (first woman cabinet secretary, in the FDR administration). Dorothy Day. Jane Addams. Georgia O’Keefe, Louise Nevelson. Zora Neale Hurston. Nellie Bly. Marion Anderson, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone. Shirley Chisholm. Rachel Carson. Rosa Parks.

      Also, the late sculptor Harry Jackson made a monumental bronze of Sacagawea out west – there are casts of just her head and shoulders that could be easily put somewhere in the park.