“Unveiling The Statue of Liberty” by Edward Moran
“Unveiling The Statue of Liberty” by Edward Moran depicts October 28, 1886, when thousands of spectators gathered for the dedication of The Statue of Liberty. Moran captures the moment when the assembled warships fired a 21-gun salute to welcome the President for the dedication ceremony. Ships flying French and American flags fill the harbor as smoke from the gun salute rolls across the scene.
The Statue of Liberty is a colossal sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was made in France, shipped in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on the island. New York’s first ticker-tape parade celebrated the statue’s completion, and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.
The Statue of Liberty is a figure of a robed woman representing Libertas, a Roman goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand, she carries a tablet inscribed in Roman numerals with the date July 4, 1776, the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue became an icon of freedom and the United States and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving in New York.
Statue of Liberty – Fascinating Facts
- Formal Name: The Statue of Liberty official name is “Liberty Enlightening the World” (French: La Liberté éclairant le monde)
- Style: The statue is a colossal neoclassical sculpture. Neoclassicisms drew inspiration from the art and culture of classical antiquity.
- Location: Liberty Island, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
- Height: Height of copper statue is 151 feet 1 inch (46 meters); From ground level to torch: 305 feet 1 inch (93 meters)
- Dedicated: 1886
- Sculptor: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
- Liberty’s Face: The statue’s face is modeled on the sculptor’s mother’s face.
- French Gift: The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France, given to America.
- Goddess: The female figure represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom.
- She is moving Forward: Liberty is depicted with a raised right heel, showing that she is walking forward. Her raise heel can be seen from behind.
- Away from Oppression: Liberty’s feet stand on broken shackles and chains, depicting her moving forward away from oppression and slavery.
- Paris World’s Fair: The statue’s head on exhibit at the Paris World’s Fair, 1878
- Tablet: Statue of Liberty holds a tablet upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, in Roman numerals.
- Not the original Torch: The Statue of Liberty’s original torch displayed in the Statue of Liberty Museum. The statue’s original torch was replaced by a new copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf in 1984.
- Climb: Visitors have to climb 354 steps in the internal stairs to reach the statue’s crown.
- Crown: Statue of Liberty’s crown has 25 windows. The seven spikes on the crown represent the seven oceans and the seven continents of the world.
- In Film: The statue s also destroyed in the films “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” and is seen half-buried in the sand in the 1968 film “Planet of the Apes.”
- Lightning: The Statue of Liberty is hit by about 600 bolts of lightning every year.
- The New Colossus: In 1903, the poem “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus was cast onto a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level.
“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus
“The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) is a poem written in 1883 to raise money for the construction of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty.
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”
Edward Moran was an American artist of maritime paintings and most famous for his historical paintings of United States marine history.
Unveiling The Statue of Liberty
- Title: Unveiling The Statue of Liberty
- Artist: Edward Moran
- Year: 1886
- Material: Oil on canvas
- Museum: Museum of the City of New York
- Name: Edward Moran
- Born: 1829 – Bolton, Lancashire
- Died: 1901 (aged 71) – New York City
- Nationality: American
- Notable works:
A Tour of the Museum of the City of New York
- “Portrait of Mrs. Alexander Hamilton” by Ralph Earl
- “Olivia Peyton Murray Cutting” by Alexandre Cabanel
- “Unveiling The Statue of Liberty” by Edward Moran
A Tour of New York’s Museums
- Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET
- Museum of Modern Art, NYC
- Intrepid, Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Neue Galerie New York
- The Cloisters
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- American Museum of Natural History
- Museum of the City of New York
- New-York Historical Society
- Frick Collection
- Met Breuer
- Rubin Museum of Art
- Whitney Museum of American Art
- Brooklyn Museum
Exploring The Statue of Liberty
- How many American’s know that this statue was a gift from the people of France?
- The idea for the Statue of Liberty was first proposed by the President of the French Anti-Slavery Society and an influential political thinker of his time. What inspired him about America?
- Why are hundreds of replicas of the Statue of Liberty displayed worldwide?
- As a symbol of Liberty, of optimism, why has it also become a symbol of science fiction’s pessimistic view of the future?
“Make your mark in New York, and you are a made man.”
– Mark Twain
Photo Credit: Edward Moran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons