There’s a new sculpture at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: a giant torch that’s strikingly familiar—and entirely unique. Artist Abigail DeVille has reimagined the Statue of Liberty’s torch to shine a light on historical contradictions of American freedom. Through her work, DeVille asks us to re-examine the stories we’ve inherited as a nation, including the story of Lady Liberty herself. As it turns out, the statue holding her torch alight in New York Harbor today has come to stand for something very different from its original intention. Born out of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Light of Freedom reflects the historical origins of the Statue of Liberty and challenges us to confront the idea that liberty itself is a work in progress.
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