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Architecture Landmarks & Monuments

Lady Liberty

by (author) Luce Lebart & Sam Stourdze

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2017
Landmarks & Monuments, 19th Century
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price

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A photographic essay recounting the creation and installation of the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty is known around the world as a symbol of freedom and democracy. Poet Emma Lazarus' words inscribed on its pedestal -- "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" -- beckon the poor and oppressed everywhere.

Fittingly perhaps, the installation of the Statue of Liberty was no small feat. When its size and scale became a reality, the creators in France and the United States were faced with a number of colossal challenges. The solution would be an unusual and groundbreaking union of art and technology.

Lady Liberty recounts the conception, construction, assembly and installation of the statue in rarely seen photographs and informative text. It shows how French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi used photographs and photomontages -- notably, a giant panorama of the city of New York -- to study the site chosen for his statue and to monitor its construction, which was taking place in Paris.

The photographs showing the progress of the statue also became a great communication tool. Financing the colossal gift from France to America took massive fundraising that only innovative advertising could generate. It would give birth to the now-familiar method of exploiting the immediacy of photography to drive commerce.

Lady Liberty traces both the expected and the surprising elements of the statue's construction and assembly, and show how the image of the statue oscillated between reality and fiction. They record a vast utopian project that lasted 20 years and was marked by the major political, social, architectural and aesthetic influences of the time.

For all Americans, for historians, for photography aficionados, for students young and old, for newcomers welcomed by Lady Liberty, this book takes readers on a journey through the unknown life of one of the world's most powerful icons.


About the authors

Editorial Reviews

The Statue of Liberty is a well-known symbol of the United States. In this paperback coffee table style book readers can do a deep dive into the creation, history and early use of the statue in popular imagery. The text includes a 13-page essay on the artist, the history and creation of the statue, and short one page essays introduce different sub topics. It is, however, the rich collection of primary source images that make this book fascinating. Photographs, drawing, paintings, notes, and other ephemera - each with descriptions and most with additional notes that allow the reader to do a deep dive into the early history of this icon.

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's and Young Adult Literature