The Statue of Liberty is more than a monument. She is a beloved friend, a living symbol of freedom to millions around the world. These exhibits are a tribute to the people who created her, to those who built and paid for her, to the ideals she represents, and to the hopes she inspires.
The Statue of Liberty exhibit, which opened in July 1986 and is located on the second floor in the pedestal of the Statue, traces the history and symbolism of the Statue of Liberty through museum objects, photographs, prints, videos and oral histories. In addition to historical artifacts and descriptive text, full scale replicas of the Statue's face and foot are also on display.
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The main historical sections include: From Idea to Image, Fabricating the Statue, Stretching Technology, Fundraising in France, The Pedestal, Fundraising in America, and Complete at Last. The next area focuses on the symbolism of Liberty with sections titled Mother of Exiles, Becoming the Statue of America, Century of Souvenirs, The Image Exploited and The Statue in Popular Culture.
The Torch Exhibit
The Torch Exhibit includes the original 1886 torch and much altered flame in the lobby. On the second floor balcony overlooking this torch is a display on the history of the torch and flame, explaining the various alterations through diagrams, photographs, drawings and cartoons.
"The New Colossus"
The famous sonnet written by Emma Lazarus in 1883. A bronze plaque, dedicated in memory of Emma Lazarus' contribution to the completion of the Statue's pedestal, has been affixed to the inner walls of the pedestal since the early 1900's. This plaque, currently located in the Statue of Liberty exhibit, has come to symbolize the statue's universal message of hope and freedom for immigrants coming to America and people seeking freedom around the world.