There is a severe lack of representation in national monuments and public sculptures. None of the 44 memorials maintained by the National Parks Service are dedicated to women. Less than 8% of statues depicting major historical figures in the U.S. are of women. And in New York’s Central Park, all 23 statues honoring historical trailblazers like Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, and William Shakespeare are of men, but this is finally about to change.
The city recently commissioned a statue featuring three suffragists: Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth. The statue, depicting the three women together at a round table, is called the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument and was sculpted by artist Meredith Bergmann.
“My hope is that all people, but especially young people, will be inspired by this image of women of different races, different religious backgrounds and different economic status working together to change the world,” stated Bergmann in the official press release announcing the new statue. Bergmann has created other awe-inspiring monuments like the Boston’s Women’s Memorial and the September 11th Memorial at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
“The women who have played such a vital part of history are invisible, until now,” said Pam Elam, who runs Monumental Women, a non-profit campaign dedicated to spreading awareness of women’s historical triumphs and “breaking the bronze ceiling.” The volunteers at Monumental Women worked for over six years to raise the $1.5 million necessary to erect the new statue.
The statue is to be unveiled on August 26, 2020, the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.