COOPERMADE: Monument to Women's Rights Pioneers

Like Cooper alumni Augustus Saint-Gaudens and A.A. Weinman before her, Meredith Bergmann A’77 has contributed to the aesthetics and soul of New York City through her sculpture. Bergmann’s monument Women’s Rights Pioneers made history as the first depiction of real historical women in Central Park statuary. The monument depicts Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton gathered around a table working on three elements of activism: speaking, writing, and organizing. The statue was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of the ratification the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Bergmann has said of the piece, “I have worked for decades for social justice and historical redress through my art, using my artist’s imagination to create empathic representations of diverse, inspiring people.” 

Bergmann’s sculptures can be found at other New York landmarks including the Cathedral of St. John the Divine where her Memorial to September 11th was installed in 2012. FDR Hope Memorial, Bergmann’s depiction of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a wheelchair greeting a small girl with leg braces, will be unveiled on Roosevelt Island this Saturday as a tribute to those who face challenges through physical disability. It is yet another example of Bergmann’s commitment to depict people whose lives have often gone unnoted in traditional statuary.  



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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.