The larger-than-life bronze sculpture stands at the crossroads of St. Nicholas Avenue, West 122nd Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. Douglass once said of Tubman that except for John Brown, he knew of “no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people.” In the sculpture, Saar designed stylized portraits of “anonymous passengers” of the Underground Railroad in Tubman's skirt, some of which were inspired by West African “passport masks.” Around the granite base of the monument are bronze tiles alternately depicting events in Tubman's life and traditional quilting patterns.
The sculpture and redesign of the triangle received a prestigious Public Design Commission Award for Excellence in Design in 2004. Carver Savings Bank has provided a lead gift towards establishing an endowment for the sculpture’s future maintenance.
HTB QUICK FACT: 2008. Artist Alison Saar created a memorial statue to Harriet Tubman in Harlem to honor all that she did and the many lives she saved.
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