November 12th marks the 199th anniversary of the birth of women’s rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In celebration, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund Inc. officially announces its campaign to create a statue in New York City’s Central Park honoring Stanton, Anthony and all those who fought for women’s right to vote. It will be the first statue in Central Park’s 160 year history built to honor real women. Pam Elam, President of the ECS and SBA Statue Fund, stated: “There are statues in Central Park of Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Juliet (with Romeo), and numerous representations of the female form (like angels, nymphs and allegorical figures), but statues celebrating the vast and varied contributions of real women to this city, state, and nation are no where to be found.” Elam added: “We intend to break the bronze ceiling by honoring these women and their work for equality and justice.”
The statue fund sent a Letter of Intent, as required by NYC Parks Department guidelines when donating works of art, to the Mayor and Parks Department Commissioner in February. On September 19, 2014 representatives of the Statue Fund held its first meeting to discuss the proposal with representatives from the Parks Department and the Central Park Conservancy.
Coline Jenkins, Vice President of the Statue Fund and the great, great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, said that “… by honoring Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and those who fought for the vote, New York City will also be honoring the largest nonviolent civil rights revolution in the history of our nation.” The statue will hopefully be completed before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial when American women will have been voting for 100 years. In addition to honoring Stanton and Anthony, a list of the names of those whose work was crucial to the success of the struggle will be inscribed around the statue’s base.
Jenkins noted that important historical milestones regarding Stanton, Anthony, and the right to vote will be celebrated in the near future such as the 200th anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 2015; the New York State Woman Suffrage Centennial in 2017; the national woman suffrage centennial in 2020; and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony in 2020. “By creating this statue, New York City paves the way for a nationwide celebration of the United States Constitution’s 19th Amendment,” Jenkins said.
The Central Park statue project has the support of the 15-member Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council and many prominent endorsers. If you’re interested in supporting the statue campaign, by volunteering or pledging, contact the Statue Fund at StantonandAnthonyStatueFund@gmail.com or ECS and SBA Statue Fund, Post Office Box 1500, Gracie Station, New York, NY 10028. A website is under construction and supporters are welcome to follow the Statue Fund on Facebook and Twitter.