The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC EventsHistory Program Events

Oct. 9th: “Who Decides? The History and Future of Monument Creation in NYC” (a Gotham Center event)

New monuments are coming to NYC. But how will they be selected? The Mayor’s office has left this question unanswered, despite the controversies which led to establishment of a Monuments Commission last fall, and two, seemingly distinct announcements by the government, pledging $10 million for statues or public art honoring neglected groups, and the same amount for monuments recognizing women.

The process for erecting new monuments has changed greatly since the late 1800s and early 1900s, when the Anglo-Protestant elite created the Art Commission to stop the proliferation of “inferior” works, often proposed by ethnic organizations. It changed fundamentally again in the 1960s, when the Lindsay administration began to unravel the system that congealed under Robert Moses, generally denying public-initiated monuments. This panel will explore that history, often neglected in the current debate, now that another wave of monument creation is promised, as well as consider the question of whether the institutional process should change.

Michele Bogart, author of the new Sculpture in Gotham, and the leading expert on the history of monument construction in New York City

Jack Tchen, co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in America and member of the NYC Mayor’s Commission on Monuments

Mary Anne Trasciatti, President, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition

Moderator: Todd Fine, President, Washington Street Historical Society, advocate of the monument for “Little Syria”

Tuesday, October 9th, 7 pm

The Graduate Center, CUNY
Martin E. Segal Theater (Ground Floor)
365 Fifth Ave., btw. 34th and 35th St.

No RSVP required