The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, more commonly known as the Statue of Liberty, was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and was a gift to the United Stated from France. It is a monument to American independence given in honor of "the Alliance of the two Nations in achieving the Independence of the United States of America and attests their abiding friendship." The Statue of Liberty resides outside of Manhattan in New York City, on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor.
Physically, the statue rises only 151 feet, 1 inch, but it sits on a tall pedestal for a total height from the ground to the torch of 305 feet, 1 inch. This leads many visitors to ...view middle of the document...
Sadly, Laboulaye died in 1883 before completion of the statue.
Auguste Bartholdi was the French artist and sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World. Born in 1834, Bartholdi studied art, sculpture, and architecture and developed a passion for large public monuments and colossal sculptures. He became a great supporter of Laboulaye's idea to build a monument for the United States, and was commissioned to design the statue with the year 1876 in mind for completion. This would coincide with the centennial of the Declaration of Independence by the United States of America. Bartholdi would travel to the United States, where, upon entering New York harbor by ship, he knew immediately that the Statue of Liberty must be located on Bedloe’s Island.
It was during Bartholdi’s trips to America that he tried to gain support for the statue financially and ideologically. As mentioned, the jobs for the statue were split, with the American people working on the pedestal and the French people working on the actual statue and assembly itself. When Bartholdi returned to France in 1872, Bartholdi assisted Laboulaye in creating the Franco-American Union in Paris, raising 400,000 francs to fund the construction of the Statue of Liberty.
Meanwhile, the United States raised the funds by promoting theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions, and prize fights. France conversely focused on public fees, entertainment, and lotteries. France raised the 400,000 francs between 1875 and 1880, while the United States raised a total of $125,000 during roughly the same period. However, raising funds for the project in America faced serious obstacles. The Panic of 1873 was a financial crisis that started a depression in North America and Europe lasting six years or more depending on the country. While money was tight, many Americans also were concerned that France was only giving half a gift since they had to provide the pedestal, the statue was an abstract female and not an American war hero or similar theme, or that Americans alone should design American public works. Furthermore, the 1880s were the height of the Gilded Age, and people were more interested in amassing personal wealth than creating enduring public works.
The remaining funding was secured in a large part thanks to the efforts of Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York newspaper “The World” which would become a pioneer in yellow journalism. Funding for the platform resumed because he promised to print in his newspaper the name of every person who donated money, no matter how small their contribution. It is said that of the $102,000 raised through this campaign, eighty percent had been received in amounts of less than one dollar. Pulitzer had stated that the Statue of Liberty "is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaire of America, but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America."
Work on the pedestal was completed in 1886. ...