image for Liberty
Gallery Label
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France in honor of the friendship forged between these countries during the American Revolution. Bartholdi brought this small-scale version of his monumental sculpture to Washington, where it was on view in the Capitol rotunda from 1884 until 1887. After the statue’s dedication in 1886, it became identified with the millions who sailed past it on the way to Ellis Island to be processed as immigrants. Emma Lazarus wrote the poem inscribed on its base, proclaiming America’s welcome to all seeking a better life:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Painting and Sculpture
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing
ca. 1884
Object number
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the U.S. Capitol
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, French, born Colmar, France 1834-died Paris, France 1904
Figure female
Study\sculpture model
Monument\statue\Statue of Liberty
painted terra cotta and tin
46 x 12 x 11 in. (116.8 x 30.5 x 28.0 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum