Hard to believe (or maybe it isn’t), but out of the 150-some historical statues and more than 400 years of civic history, there are only five women thus immortalized in New York City.
The Fabulous Five are Ted Allen, Kyan Doug— uhm, wait a minute. The Fabulous Five are Stein, which is on the east side of Bryant Park; Joan of Arc, which is at 93rd Street in Riverside Park; Eleanor Roosevelt, about 72nd Street also in Riverside Park; Golda Meir, at 39th and Broadway in Midtown, and Harriet Tubman, who was lately added to a triangular green space at West 122nd and Eighth Avenue (Frederick Douglas Blvd.).
There are four statues of real-life women, famous actresses, built into the side of the I. Miller building in Midtown. These don’t count for my purposes, but are worth a mention in this space. They are Rosa Ponselle depicted as Norma from the opera of the same name, Mary Pickford as Little Lord Fauntleroy, Marilyn Miller as Sunny and Ethel Barrymore as Ophelia.
Not for nothing, but at Ellis Island there is a statue of Annie Moore, an immigrant everywoman whose life is not as famous as her statuary peers. The Times published an interesting story about her on Sept. 14, 2006, which basically rewrote the life story Ellis Island had attached to her.
And I am giving an honorable mention to Audrey Munson, the famous model and an actress from the 1910s who was known as the “American Venus.” There are several statues in the city that are modeled after Munson, probably more than any other model.