Yesterday, the NYC Parks Department dedicated a future site in Central Park to a statue that will feature two of the most prominent figures of the women’s suffrage movement: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The timing was fitting, as yesterday marked the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York state.
You could also call it long overdue, as this will be the very first representation of historic women in Central Park’s public statuary. (There are only five public statues of historic women in all of New York City, in case you were wondering.)
As the West Side Rag pointed out on Central Park's statue status, "there are 23 statues devoted to historical men, and zero to women right now (there are some statues to fictional women, like Alice in Wonderland)." As a result, a group has been advocating for a statue of the suffragettes and raising money to built it. In 2015, the Parks Department gave conceptual approval to the monument.
On Monday, politicians, city officials and girl scouts gathered with NYC Parks in Central Park to announce the site of the monument and call for artist submissions. As the Parks Departments says:
"The 'Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument' highlights the need for a history that accurate tells women’s stories... Along with Stanton and Anthony, the monument will honor the memory of the many others who worked tirelessly to advance women’s rights, including Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Mary Church Terrell, Anna Howard Shaw and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. The Central Park site, with support from the Central Park Conservancy, has been selected in accordance with the dictates of the park’s original designers, Olmsted and Vaux, who identified two locations where commemorative sculpture should be sited in the park: entrances along the perimeter and The Mall."
According to the Central Park Conservancy, the completed statue is "slated for a 2020 unveiling on the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment." It'll be erected on the Literary Walk on the Mall, which spans from 66th to 72nd Street and currently features statues of authors like Fitz-Greene Halleck, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and William Shakespeare.
- Central Park Will Get Its First Monument to Historical Women [West Side Rag]