All of the Artworks in collection of the Brooklyn Museum aren’t necessarily inside the museum. For example, if you head outside and around the back of the building, you won’t be able to miss this replica of the Statue of Liberty, which has found a home in the Parking Lot that separates the Museum from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I saw it for the first time on my most recent visit in mid-August, 2015. Surprise!
A plaque affixed to this statue reads as follows, “Perhaps no American symbol is more widely recognized or powerfully expressive than “Liberty Enlightening the World”– the Statue of Liberty. Since 1885, when the 151-foot original created by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (1834 – 1904) was erected on Bedloe’s Island, the colossal figure was inspired numerous smaller-scale replicas intended to echo the ideals of freedom, tolerance, and opportunity that it embodied for many of the immigrants arriving at Ellis Island.
This 30 foot replica was commissioned around 1900 by the Russian-born auctioneer William H. Flatteau to sit atop his eighth story Liberty Warehouse (at 43 W. 64th St.), then one of the highest points on Manhattan’s Upper West Site. Flatteau thus combined the entrepreneurial spirit with pride in the adopted country in which he had prospered. Although squatter in proportion and less gracefully detailed than the massive original, Flatteau’s replica retained something of the forceful gravity of expression achieved by Bartholdi.
Newly restored, this little Lady Liberty takes its place within the distinguished collection of outdoor sculpture and architecture fragments that the Brooklyn Museum began collecting about 1960, in an effort to preserve unique New York City treasures that were increasingly at risk.”