99% Invisible: Miss Manhattan

Nov 25, 2016

On the November 25, 2016 edition of 99% Invisible.

All over New York City, there is a woman in various states of undress, so baked into architecture that we barely even notice her. In the public library, she leans against a white horse; at the intersection of 59th and 5th, she perches atop a fountain; on 107th and Broadway, she reclines on a bed; and on top of the Manhattan Municipal Building she stands tall, this time cast in gold. She has gone by many names: Star Maiden, Priestess of Culture, Mourning Victory, and, simply: Niche Figure. But the truth is, all these likenesses were based on a single person: a model by the name of Audrey Munson [...]