WOMEN’S RIGHTS PIONEERS
Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton MONUMENTAL WOMEN
Monumental Women, a volunteer nonprofit organization, formed in 2014 to create the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument. The sculptural tableau is the first in Central Park to depict real women. After securing a prominent location on the Park’s famed Literary Walk In 2017, Monumental Women raised $1.5 million in private funding to commission and endow the sculpture, designed by nationally recognized sculptor Meredith Bergmann.
The prolonged effort by women to gain the right to vote is considered the largest nonviolent revolution in the history of this nation, finely enfranchising more than half of the population of the United States. This monument is an instant history lesson, an examination of how social change comes about. As it teaches us about the past, we can learn to do a better job of fighting for equality and Justice in the future. This monument challenges municipalities all across this nation and this world to honor all the people who made those cities greet by including tributes to women and people of color in their public spaces. But most of all, it’s about advancing history - completing the journeys toward justice of the valiant women who came before us and achieving the equality thet they were denied.
The timing of the arrival of this monument coincided with the National Women Suffrage Centennial of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony, both celebrated in 2020. To learn more about Monumental Women, visit their website: monumentalwomen.org Hear This Monument Talk
Narrated by Viola Davis, Jane Alexander and Meryl Streep in English and Zoe Saldana, America Ferrera and Rita Moreno in Spanish. Short documentaries and an interview with the sculptor can also be accessed. Select One to Listen
Scan QR code, visit talkingstatues.com
or download the Talking Statues app at nyts.de/mw THE SCULPTOR: Meredith Bergmann
Bergmann uses some of the stylistic vocabulary of the existing statuary nearby on Literary Walk so that the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument will speak to and harmoniously coexist with the Park’s historical art collection. In her design, as throughout the Park, recognizable bronze figures sit and stand on a granite pedestal with inscriptions. But within this structure, the design departs from the other monuments in ways that are appropriate to the entry of women into a sphere from which they were previously excluded. Three figures (instead of one) share a pedestal and relate to each other. They are an allegory of sisterhood, cooperation and activism but they are not just an allegory, as so many sculptures of women are.
In the monument, Bergmann shows Anthony, Stanton and Truth working together to advance the fight for equality, Justice, and women’s rights. They are depicted as equals, working together et a table, with each taking on an essential element of activism: Sojourner Truth is speaking, Susan B. Anthony is organizing, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton is writing. The Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument honors three New York women who dedicated their lives to women’s rights and to women winning the franchise, though none of them lived long enough to see it happen. #Monumental Women
Monumental Women wishes to acknowledge Board President Pam Elam, sculptor Meredith Bergmann and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brower, and to thank those whose support has made the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument possible, including: New York Life Insurance Company . American Express Foundation . Ford Foundation . The Johnnie Walker Company . Acton Family Giving . Donald C. Brace Foundation . Brande Berkman . JP Morgan Chase . Anne Delaney . Old Navy . The Puffin Foundation . Wege Foundation and over 1,000 individual donors