Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections


ca. 1884 Frederic Auguste Bartholdi Born: Colmar, France 1834 Died: Paris, France 1904 painted terra cotta and tin 46 x 12 x 11 in. (116.8 x 30.5 x 28.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the U.S. Capitol XX76 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, South Wing

Gallery Label

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France in honor of the friendship forged between these countries during the American Revolution. Bartholdi brought this small-scale version of his monumental sculpture to Washington, where it was on view in the Capitol rotunda from 1884 until 1887. After the statue’s dedication in 1886, it became identified with the millions who sailed past it on the way to Ellis Island to be processed as immigrants. Emma Lazarus wrote the poem inscribed on its base, proclaiming America’s welcome to all seeking a better life:


 “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teaming shore,

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Allegory - civic - liberty

Figure female

Monument - statue - Statue of Liberty

Study - sculpture model


ceramic - terra cotta

metal - bronze

metal - tin