It’s easy to say that not many of the city’s 150-some public statues were made by women. It’s harder, of course, to say how many were.
In 1989, the parks department played host to an exhibition honoring the female sculptors and landscape architects whose work is featured in the city. There were 12 women so honored, though the reporter from The Times who covered the show could not be bothered to list them. So far, I have found only a handful of women (nine so far) credited with public statues in the city, as this Web site defines them.
The easy one to name is Anna Huntington, who made the famous figure of Joan of Arc (dedicated in 1915) in Riverside Park. That has to be, near as I can figure, the first statue in New York that was made by a woman. Not coincidentally, I suppose, it also was the first statue of a woman in New York, period. Huntington also made the figure of El Cid at 155th and Broadway and the memorial to Jose Marti, the Cuban poet and national hero, which is at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue, one of the series of Latino leaders that can be found frozen in bronze along Sixth Avenue.
Next to Marti is a statue of the independence-movement franchiser Simon Bolivar (dedicated in 1921), which was made by Sally Farnham.
Gertrude Whitney Vanderbilt designed the sculpture (dedicated in 1936) of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of New York, that sits in Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Square, off Second Avenue.
Amy Rachel Davidson made the memorial to Frank Paulo at Staten Island’s Borough Hall Plaza.
Louise Lawson made the sculpture of Sen. Samuel “Sunset” Cox in Tompkins Square.
Allison Saar made the memorial to Harriet Tubman at West 122nd and Eighth Avenue.
Emma Stebbins made the figure of Christopher Columbus in Brooklyn’s Columbus Park.