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Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower

Statue of Liberty Eiffel Tower

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was born in France and studied both art and architecture in Paris. The work for which Bartholdi is most famous is the Statue of Liberty, donated to the United States in 1886 by France. It was rumored all over France that the face of the Statue of Liberty was modeled after Bartholdi's mother; and the body after his wife. Before starting his commission, Bartholdi traveled to the United States to personally select the site for the statue. The Statue of Liberty quickly became a national symbol of freedom in the United States and gave citizens a sense of pride.

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a French structural engineer who designed both the Eiffel Tower and the interior supporting structure of the Statue of Liberty. The Eiffel tower was built in 1889 for the Paris exposition and drew millions of people to Paris. The tower quickly became a tourist attraction and brought large amounts of money into France's economy. After originally being thought of as an eyesore (it was actually designed to be torn down easily after the end of the Exposition), the tower quickly became a national symbol of France and brought a sense of pride to the people who live there.

Questions to Ask

Statue of Liberty

The statues real name is Liberty Enlightening the World. Do you think this is a good name? What do you think it means? The statue was paid for by donations from the people of France and the United States. A symbolic meaning could be that friendship takes effort from two sides. If you could name the statue what would you name it?

What is the focal point of this work? Why does she face out to sea? For what reason do you think she was placed in New York Harbor? There was plenty of room on the western prairie. Think about the time period and immigration from Europe. Could she be welcoming people as they entered the harbor?

The statue is an example of sculpture in the round which means it is meant to be viewed from all sides. This type of sculpture often sits on a pedestal. What is a pedestal that why is it necessary?

What is the name of the metal used on the statue? Hint — Copper. Why was sand stone or marble or another element used? Elements would have eroded away quickly.

Repousse is a technique in which metal is shaped by hammering it into a mold. By using this technique what sculptural qualities make her seem like a real person? Hint — The folds of her gown are soft and flowing, the expression on her face and the position of her body is graceful.

Eiffel Tower

What is the focal point of this work? Hint — iron lattice work.

Do you think this work of art is sculptural or architectural or both? Hint — It is a museum and a building which has steps and a restaurant. It is also sculptural which when viewed from a distance does not take on the appearance of a building.

Why do you think the location of a large green public space in Paris was chosen for this work?

What similarities do you see between the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty? What differences do you see?

Do you think that both of these works are considered art? What makes something art? The materials used, the placement, realism?

Activities for the Classroom

Additional Kid Friendly Resources at the AHML are "The Statue of Liberty" by Debra Hess, "Liberty Rising " by Pegi Dietz Shea, and "The Eiffel Tower" by Meg Greene.

Bring in building material such as Lego, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, or modeling clay and ask the students to create their own towers.

Bring in a model or the Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower and ask the student to draw a picture of the model.

Bring in books or pictures of other famous towers (Willis (Sears) Tower, John Hancock,etc.) and compare them with these two artworks.

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