Volume 78 / Number 3 - June 18 - 24, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since


Villager photos by Elisabeth Robert

A monumental moment for Segal’s ‘Gay Liberation’

Interns from the Parks Department’s Citywide Monuments Conservation Program touched up George Segal’s “Gay Liberation Monument” in Sheridan Square last week. Above, Lindsay McCook, painted the standing male couple, while below, from left, McCook, Katie McManus, Xsusha Flandro and Steven O’Banion freshened up the seated female pair. The cast-bronze, painted-white sculpture by Segal, who died in 2000, honors gay rights and commemorates the events at the Stonewall Inn, located across the street from the park, where the famed riots that started in the early hours of June 28, 1969, sparked the gay rights movement internationally. A decade after Stonewall, Peter Putnam, a wealthy Louisiana arts patron, commissioned the monument. Though Segal was not the first artist approached, he accepted the commission, which stipulated only that the work “had to be loving and caring, and show the affection that is the hallmark of gay people…and it had to have equal representation of men and women.” The project was fully designed and officially approved by 1982, but encountered some initial community opposition. Following a planned renovation of the park that sidelined the project, the rancor died down, and the monument was installed in Christopher Park in 1992.



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