Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide
NYU Press, 2007 - 302 páginas
Stop, look, and discover—the streets and parks of Manhattan are filled with beautiful historic monuments that will entertain, stimulate, and inspire you. Among the 54 monuments in this volume are major figures in American history: Washington, Lincoln, Lafayette, Horace Greeley, and Gertrude Stein; more obscure figures: Daniel Butterfield, J. Marion Sims, and King Jagiello; as well as the icons of New York: Atlas, Prometheus, and the Firemen's Memorial. The monuments represent the work of some of America's best sculptors: Augustus Saint Gaudens’ Farragut and Sherman, Daniel Chester French’s Four Continents, and Anna Hyatt Huntington’s José Martí and Joan of Arc.
Each monument, illustrated with black-and-white photographs, is located on a map of Manhattan and includes easy-to-follow directions. All the sculptures are considered both as historical mementos and as art. We learn of furious General Sherman court-martialing a civilian journalist, and also of exasperated Saint Gaudens’ proposing a hook-and-spring device for improving his assistants' artistic acuity as they help model Sherman. We discover how Lincoln dealt with a vociferous Confederate politician from Ohio, and why the Lincoln in Union Square doesn't rank as a top-notch Lincoln portrait. Sidebars reveal other aspects of the figure or event commemorated, using personal quotes, poems, excerpts from nineteenth-century periodicals (New York Times, Harper's Weekly), and writers ranging from Aeschylus, Washington Irving, and Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi to Mark Twain and Henryk Sienkiewicz.
As a historical account, Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide is a fascinating look at figures and events that changed New York, the United States and the world. As an aesthetic handbook it provides a compact method for studying sculpture, inspired by Ayn Rand’s writings on art. For residents and tourists, and historians and students, who want to spend more time viewing and appreciating sculpture and New York history, this is the start of a unique voyage of discovery.