By: Jacob Hawthorne
Gallery: Schmidt Fine Art Gallery
Her Lady Liberty by Schmidt from Schmidt Fine Art Gallery captures The Statue of Liberty like never before. Elegantly perched on Liberty Island (not Ellis Island) in New York City, this colossal bronze sculpture holds her torch high above her head to serve as a beacon of freedom. The tabula ansata in her left hand bears the date of July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals as a homage to the birth of the United States. A broken chain and shackle lay beside her feet as she steps forward towards the future, symbolizing and commemorating the national abolition of slavery. The Statue of Liberty inspires those that view it in person or as art on canvas, and now is offered by Schmidt Fine Art Gallery as a digital print that can be customized to any size, frame or finish.
Although French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdiher gave her the original name of Liberty Enlightening the World when it was dedicated on October 28, 1886, this neoclassical statue has since accumulated a plethora of nicknames according to the Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia; nicknames such as as Everybody’s Gal, America’s Freedom, America’s Great Lady, Aunt Liberty, Bartholdi’s Daughter, Giant Goddess, Grande Dame, Green Goddess, The Lady Higher Up, Lady of the Harbor, Lady on a Pedestal, Lady with a Torch, Mother of Exiles, Mother of Freedom, Saint Liberty, and the Spirit of American Independence.
The copper statue is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. It is also widely known that the Statue of Liberty is based on the French sculptor Bartholdiher’s own mother. And since its arrival in New York, the Statue of Liberty has become the iconic symbol of New York for early immigrants entering New York Harbor. What was once the color of a new penny, the Statue of Liberty acquired her warm patina blue-green hue over the course of 20 years. Seven spikes seem to protrude from Her Lady Liberty’s crown, but they are meant to represent a halo, with the seven spikes symbolizing the seven seas and continents.
The pedestal of the statue consists of several structures, one of which being the star-shaped Fort Wood. From 1818 to the mid 1930s, Fort Wood actually housed military families, and those that called Liberty Island home and grew up on Liberty Island as children often recounted climbing to the tip top of the torch tower to make it rock back and forth, or have stories about dropping baseballs from the top of the tower just to observe just how high they would bounce upon impact. In its early days, The Statue of Liberty was much more of an interactive display.
Sadly, the fun all came to an end in 1916 when the Black Tom incident occurred and all privileges to climb the torch tower were revoked. The Black Tom was an island in New York Harbor that was the victim of a 2 million ton explosion of war materials. The explosion was so immense that it caused an earthquake that measured 5.5 on the Richter scale, and it also sent debris and shrapnel cascading into the Statue of Liberty torch and shattered windows up to 25 miles away. Since then, the Statue of Liberty torch tower has been closed due to the structural damage stemming from this explosion, as well as to thwart any future terrorist activity. In 2011, New York Park Rangers installed a live-streaming camera to see the view from the top of the torch.
Although many military families have long evacuated Fort Wood on Liberty Island, there have been some families that have had the good fortune to call Liberty Island home. These families were selected by the New York Park Rangers to oversee and care for the statue. Those chosen lived in a brick house on Liberty Island; unfortunately when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, the housing on Liberty Island was damaged and never rebuilt, so nobody has claimed Liberty Island as home since.
The Statue of Liberty is an only child, but it was in fact meant to have a sister statue. The sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi actually made an offer to Egypt to create a large piece called “Egypt Carrying Light to Asia” meant to be the entrance to the Suez Canal. The Egyptian khedive was not able to front the cost of the statue and therefore declined, but the statue would have showcased a veiled Egyptian peasant woman holding a lantern.
Whether you are an aspiring photographer or an art collector in search of inspiring works to fill your home, Schmidt Fine Art Gallery is here to service you. We are a gallery for the artist by the artist. Our mission is to serve as the place for artists to simply sell art, without the overburdening of promotion, marketing and running a start-up business. We are committed to producing high-quality, museum grade products and timeless works of art on canvas or digital that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Schmidt Gallery was founded by Kurt Schmidt with the vision to establish a photo-centric gallery in the heart of Montgomery county, Texas. Although it is all run online at the moment, Schmidt Gallery has dreams of opening up a brick and mortar gallery in The Woodlands just north of Houston. Schmidt Fine Art Gallery was founded in March 2020 as a startup funded by All ARK LLC.