For Three Suffragists, a Monument Well Past Due

Across the nation, monuments honoring racist figures are being defaced and toppled. In New York’s Central Park, one statue is taking form that goals to amend not solely racial but in addition gender disparities in public artwork: A 14-foot-tall bronze monument of Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, three of the extra distinguished leaders within the nationwide struggle for girls’s proper to vote.

Called the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument, it’s to be unveiled Aug. 26 to commemorate the 100th anniversary this month of the constitutional modification that lastly assured girls that proper. The sculpture depicts the three figures gathered round a desk for what appears to be a dialogue or a technique assembly. Anthony stands within the center, holding a pamphlet that reads “Votes for Women”; Stanton, seated to her left, holds a pen, presumably taking notes; and Truth seems to be in midsentence.

“I wanted to show women working together,” mentioned Meredith Bergmann, the sculptor chosen from dozens of artists to create the statue. “I kept thinking of women now, working together in some kitchen on a laptop, trying to change the world.”

It would be the park’s first — and solely — monument honoring actual girls, situated on Literary Walk. In its 167-year historical past, the park has been a leafy, lush residence to about two dozen statues of males, largely white, and fictional or legendary feminine characters (Alice in Wonderland, Shakespeare’s Juliet, and the Angel of the Waters, the winged woman atop Bethesda Fountain) but no historical women.

Though the campaign to install the statue took more than six years (seven if you include the months of discussions that took place before the nonprofit was formed), Monumental Women selected Ms. Bergmann’s design in 2018, giving the artist two years — a short time in the sculpting world, she noted — to bring the suffragists to life.

The proposal that was approved consisted of Anthony and Stanton, and a long scroll cascading from their work desk containing quotations from more than 20 other suffragists.

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