Uncommon Folk: Miss Liberty

Historical subject matter in art can range from transformative events and people to personal histories. Frequently, the most vocal, social, and political artistic commentary has come not from established artists in the mainstream art world, but rather from artists like those represented in Uncommon Folk.

The Miss Liberty (ca. 1910) sculpture in the exhibition includes three distinct accessories. What are these and why did the artist include them?

The Statue of Liberty monument that stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor was given to the people of the United States by the people of France in 1886 in honor of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Following the vision of Édouard de Laboulaye, artist Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi designed the statue, working with architect Gustave Eiffel and many others. The Statue of Liberty symbolizes freedom and democracy, as well as this international friendship.


Directions: In pairs, develop a plan for a monument that honors a personal hero or role model. This person could be a leader in history or a close family member or friend.

Make a sketch of the person.

List words that describe this person. What makes him or her a hero or role model?

What items, colors, or designs would you include for your monument?

What item might the person hold?

What phrase best represents the personal hero or role model?


Consider another object in this section. Are any symbols repeated? How do they relate to patriotism and American icons?