Co-authors of The Secret Life of Lady Liberty, Dr. Bob Hieronimus (above left) and Laura E. Cortner (above right) enjoying the rich ambience of the National Arts Club during a visit in 2014 -- very pleased to be returning in 2016 to present on their new book at the National Arts Club on December 20.
The Secret Life of Lady Liberty
by Robert Hieronimus and
Tuesday, December 20
We are truly honored to be invited by the prestigious National Arts Club in New York City to give a visual presentation of "The Secret Life of Lady Liberty" on December 20th, 2016 at 8 PM. The event is open to the public, and one of our VIP guests will be Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), staunch supporter of gender equality and the essential message behind the Secret Life of Lady Liberty. Join us for a visual presentation based on the rich illustrations featured in the new book The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World.
The authors reveal fresh perspectives on the symbolism of the 130-year-old copper lady in the New York Harbor. Appreciating the Statue of Liberty specifically as America's goddess, they say, can inspire activism by acknowledging the female half of divinity — a fundamental step to lasting gender equality.
Seeing Lady Liberty essentially as a woman confident in her own power, they trace her lineage back to the Neolithic Earth Mother, Mary Magdalene, Minerva, Joan of Arc, the savage "Indian Queen" and the Revolutionary generation's "Indian Princess." They also reveal the sharp contrast between depicting "liberty" as a female, the reality of women, and the suffragists' claim of "Giant Hypocrisy."
Robert Hieronimus, Ph.D., is an internationally known historian, visual artist, radio host, and member of the NAC. He has appeared on History, Discovery, BBC, and National Geographic. Laura E. Cortner has co-authored previous titles with Hieronimus including Founding Fathers, Secret Societies and United Symbolism of America.
Both Drs. Bob and Zohara Hieronimus are artists and both are members of the National Arts Club. Left: Dr. Zohara Hieronimus on a 2007 visit to the National Arts Club. Right: Dr. Bob entertains daughters Anna Hieronimus and Mar— Hieronimus at the National Arts Club in 2009 for an exhibit about Chinese revolutionaries including Bob’s portrait of Gang Liu in the background.
Actress Patricia Arquette meets with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) pose for a photo during a "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds" discussion at the US Capitol on April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Thank you letter (above) from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney after receiving The Secret Life of Lady Liberty. Dr. Bob and Rep. Carolyn Maloney together at the National Arts Club in 2009 (below).
The National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by New York Times critic Charles De Kay. Located in the historic Samuel Tilden Mansion in Gramercy Park in New York City, its mission is "to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts." Its membership has included many distinguished artists, composers, architects, and three U.S. presidents. Well-ahead of the times, it has welcomed women from the very beginning.
The Club hosts both members-only and public events, including exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, lectures and readings. Additionally, it maintains a renowned collection of American art in its four galleries.
The Club's Membership has included three U.S. Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Renowned for its expansive American art collection, the National Arts Club is proud of its early recognition of innovative art media such as photography, film and digital media.
The historic Samuel Tilden Mansion is the current home of the National Arts Club. In 1906, when the Club outgrew its first home on 34th Street, the Club acquired the historic Samuel Tilden Mansion as its new home. The Tilden Mansion occupies 14 and 15 Gramercy Park South; both houses were built in the 1840s; and the original flat-front, iron-grilled brownstones matched the style of the homes still maintained on the west side of Gramercy Park. Samuel Tilden, the 25th Governor of New York, acquired 15 Gramercy Park South in 1863, purchased the adjacent house a few years later and gave the conjoined mansions a complete redesign. Tilden hired Calvert Vaux, a famed architect and one of the designers of Central Park, to modernize the façade with sandstone, bay windows and ornamentation in the Aesthetic Movement style. John LaFarge created stained glass panels for the interior of the mansion; and sculptors from the firm of Ellin and Kitson created elaborate fireplace surrounds, bookcases and doors. Glass master Donald MacDonald fashioned a unique stained glass dome for Tilden's library that crowns the room where the bar is now located.
In 1966 New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission declared 15 Gramercy Park South a New York City Landmark; and in 1976 the Federal government designated the building a National Historic Landmark.
The Statue of Liberty is an Energizing Symbol. Just look at the current crop of political cartoons showing her at odds with, or violated by, president-elect Trump. Hollywood has also discovered her visceral impact on viewers and have taken to destroying her again and again in multiple disaster films of the last decade. Most Americans, in fact most Earth beings, associate the Statue of Liberty with the self-identity of Americans.
On December 20th at the National Arts Club in New York City, in the visual presentation "What the Statue of Liberty Can Teach Us About Americans Authors Today," Robert R. Hieronimus, Ph.D., and Laura E. Cortner will reveal the "Secret Life" of Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty's ancestral background is steeped in the Goddess-worshipping cultures, and learning to see the Statue of Liberty as a powerful depiction of divinity in female form can energize America toward a more compassionate future.
See how the Statue of Liberty has been used through the decades as a rallying symbol for suffragists, women's lib activists, civil rights protestors, and those both pro- and anti-immigration. See depictions of Black Americans' strained relationship with Lady Liberty, and the historical precedent in slave imagery of the Virgin of Regla with her dark skin holding a pale skinned child. See the earliest propaganda uses of Lady America based on Native American concepts distorted to fit the American liberty goddess image, reminding Euro-Americans of our strong Native American roots.
From social justice and labor organizers, to capitalists and pro-business advocates, everyone uses the Statue of Liberty to stand for "them." That she is a God in female form is mostly forgotten or ignored. Accepting the Statue of Liberty as our American Goddess — or acknowledging the divine female as part of the American tradition — could help shift Americans' self-identity to one rooted more firmly in compassion. Because when we learn to accept that divinity can manifest in male as well as female form, we learn to recognize not only that life is sacred, but that we all have a responsibility to each other to keep it that way. Despite the suppression of the goddess in our Judeo-Christian society, humanity yearns for the goddess. Just look at all the substitutes that pop up from the Virgin Mary, to calling actresses or pop singers "divas," which literally means "goddesses" in Italian.
As the female half of our conscience, the Statue of Liberty is all about finding balance. Read this book to learn how her history as a goddess can inspire you to find your mission in life and activate it.