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Lawns Closed Today
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Lawns Open    Lawns Closed
Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns, which includes closing the lawns each year from October through May for reseeding. With the heightened need for public space, the Conservancy has kept the lawns open throughout the pandemic. For the month of April, all lawns will be closed to reestablish the grass in time for summer.

Abigail DeVille: Light of Freedom

Abigail DeVille 9
Past Exhibition

Abigail DeVille: Light of Freedom

October 27, 2020 – 31, 2021
Abigail DeVille's "Light of Freedom"
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Past Exhibition

Abigail DeVille: Light of Freedom

October 27, 2020 – 31, 2021
Abigail DeVille's "Light of Freedom"
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Play Audio Tour
Abigail DeVille 9
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A response to history and the present, Abigail DeVille’s Light of Freedom reflects the despair and the exultation of the pandemic, protests, and political turmoil of 2020. DeVille answers the question of how public art can respond in civic space to this turbulent period. Her work carries cogent symbols. She fills a torch — referring to the Statue of Liberty’s hand holding a torch which was on view in Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882 — with a timeworn bell, a herald of freedom, and with the arms of mannequins, reaching to viewers. A golden scaffold summons the glory of labor and the hope that struggle can lead to change. Formative to Light of Freedom are the words of the abolitionist, author, and statesman Frederick Douglass, who proclaimed in 1857: “If there is no struggle there is no progress.” 

DeVille uses public space to explore overlooked narratives. She mines untold histories for her subject matter. DeVille described her process: “In my research, I have found that the first Blacks to be brought to New York City were eleven Angolans in 1626. … Unfortunately, history has erased the contributions and victories of this group. I want to make something that could honor their lives and question what it means to be a New Yorker, past, present, and future.”

A response to history and the present, Abigail DeVille’s Light of Freedom reflects the despair and the exultation of the pandemic, protests, and political turmoil of 2020. DeVille answers the question of how public art can respond in civic space to this turbulent period. Her work carries cogent symbols. She fills a torch — referring to the Statue of Liberty’s hand holding a torch which was on view in Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882 — with a timeworn bell, a herald of freedom, and with the arms of mannequins, reaching to viewers. A golden scaffold summons the glory of labor and the hope that struggle can lead to change. Formative to Light of Freedom are the words of the abolitionist, author, and statesman Frederick Douglass, who proclaimed in 1857: “If there is no struggle there is no progress.” 

DeVille uses public space to explore overlooked narratives. She mines untold histories for her subject matter. DeVille described her process: “In my research, I have found that the first Blacks to be brought to New York City were eleven Angolans in 1626. … Unfortunately, history has erased the contributions and victories of this group. I want to make something that could honor their lives and question what it means to be a New Yorker, past, present, and future.”

Exhibition Support
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Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom
Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom, Narrated by Brooke Kamin Rappoport
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