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Connecticut Sculptor Brings First Women's Monument To Central Park

Not a single monument in New York City’s Central Park depicts real-life women. But a sculptor in Connecticut will change that. 

Meredith Bergmann is finishing up a 14-foot-tall clay sculpture at her studio in Ridgefield. It will soon be cast in bronze and eventually installed near monuments of William Shakespeare and Christopher Columbus in Central Park. 

Bergmann invites the public to the unveiling in August on the centennial of women’s constitutional right to vote. 

“They will see three women, working together, at a table. Sojourner Truth is seated on the left, Elizabeth Cady Stanton is seated on the right, and Susan B. Anthony on the center standing, as if she is arriving.”

Bergmann’s design was chosen by the nonprofit group Monumental Women. Pam Elam leads the group of advocates, historians and community leaders in the fight for representation of women’s accomplishments. 

“Boys and little girls walk through Central Park and don’t see any women reflected, any real women. Now they will. They’ll see three women of different races, different classes, different religions, sometimes different perspectives. But they’ll see them working together for all women.”

The African American abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth was added to the sculpture after city officials expressed concern. They worried women of color were only honored on a list of names engraved on the proposed statue. Bergmann and Elam say they are happy with the final design.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.