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Leslie J. Payne
New York Lady (STATUE OF LIBERTY)
1974
painted metal and wood with costume jewelry and reflector
26 5/8 x 16 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment



From her oilcan base to her reflector beacon, New York Lady is Leslie Payne's ingenious interpretation of the Statue of Liberty. Visiting this historic symbol of freedom was the highlight of this Virginia fisherman's only trip to New York. Although he called his sculptures "imitations," Payne's improvisational flair shines through Liberty's jaunty pose and costume.