Lighting the Statue of Liberty (Workshop Model)
Lady Liberty … a New York icon … now on view at 61st and Madison!
Yes, you heard right; the famous statue has found a new home on the Upper East Side. Well, not the actual statue, of course, but a casting of the original Frederick Bartholdi workshop model that stands just over nine feet tall. One of only a handful of castings in the world, this statue was enlarged by the sculptor sixteen times to create the statue sitting in New York Harbor today. It’s a little piece of New York history dropped right on Madison Avenue. The best part: you don’t have to wait in line for hours to see her!
We recently completed the lighting installation designed to make this bronze beauty shine all night long, and it was such a fun project I thought I’d share some photos for those who can’t see her in person.
As an office full of theatrical designers we wanted the statue’s lighting to be both dramatic and beautiful, so we took great care to highlight her most important features (the crown, the torch, and the tablet) while allowing shadows to help emphasize her sculptural qualities.
Standing framed in a granite archway at the entrance to a Madison Ave. office building, her unique location offered us the opportunity to use theatrical-style lighting fixtures and positions. We simply imagined the archway as the “proscenium” to the stage on which she is standing.
And she certainly puts on a show for passersby! She now glows brightly in the nighttime environment, standing out like a beacon on this relatively dark section of 61st Street, surprising pedestrians who happen to come across her hiding place.
We were certainly glad to have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on her Madison Avenue debut, and I would highly encourage visiting her if you’re in the neighborhood. Unlike visiting her 305-foot tall sister, a trip to this Lady Liberty doesn’t require long lines, metal detectors, and a boat ride, and it allows you to really get up close and appreciate the fine details and craftsmanship in Frederick Bartholdi’s work of art.
Many thanks to the owners of this piece of New York history for sharing it so willingly and for helping to make the city’s nighttime environment a bit more beautiful.