Sunday, October 15, 2023

L’homme qui inventa la liberté

or more correctly translated, "The  Man Who Invented Miss Liberty."

Auguste Bartholdi at the age of 66 by José Frappa
Following the trip on the Route of  Democracy on September 14, Red Baron participated in an excursion to Colmar. This time, a member of the Museumsgesellschaft, an expert on Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, guided us through the artist's birthplace - now a  dedicated museum - and to several of his oeuvres around town.

Bartholdi not only invented, but he had Miss Liberty created. With the statue, he wanted to express France's gratitude to the United States, who in 1776 had provided in their Declaration of Independence the blueprint for the Déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme of the French Revolution 1789.

Miss Liberty in the foreground and background
Following a trip to Freiburg's partner city, Madison, Wisconsin, in the fall of 2004, Red Baron visited New York on his way back. In particular, he took a boat to Ellis Island to learn about his ancestors who emigrated from Germany to the New World.

The ferryboat was called Miss Liberty, and we passed Miss Liberty in all her splendor.

Les grands soutiens du monde 1902
Back to the trip. Before entering the museum, members of our group circled around Bartholdi's sculpture, The Great Supporters of the World, in the courtyard.
Concerning the Statue of Liberty, the people of France were asked to finance it, while the United States was supposed to provide the site and build the pedestal. 

One ear of Miss Liberty, with a height of 140 cm, is on display at the museum.
The funding for the monumental work in France was encouraged by exposing the finished head of the statue at the Paris World's Fair in 1878, while the torch-bearing arm was shipped to the States and displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.
Stereoscopic photo at Philadephia Fairmount Park 1876
You can read the full story here while I show you some of the exhibits at the Bartholdi Museum.

In 1776, the plans were ready, their execution a vision.
On the occasion of the centenary of the Declaration of Independence, a diorama tried to make the statue popular in France.

A contemporary photograph with a handwritten entry by the master:
The Statue of Liberty, 46 m, January 1884, Bartholdi
The statue was built in Paris in the courtyard of the Gaget and Gauthier workshops, Rue de Chazelles, and was finished in 1884.

At that time, Lucky Luke was in Paris and surprised
The finished statue was dismantled, placed in crates, and shipped to New York. It was reassembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island.

On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the inauguration of the statue, the US returned to France an original steel rivet strip of Gustave Eiffel's inner supporting structure.

Columbus: Ahead, forward, 1892
Bartholdi was an Americanophile, and in his life, he traveled several times to the States.

St. Louis
Going west by train
Redwood trees in California
He discovered the landscape.
Washington meets Lafayette
In the museum, a whole room is dedicated to Bartholdi's obsession with Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. The Prussian Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben fades away.

There is more to see at the Bartholdi Museum.

Vercingetorix 1869
The Gallic national hero Vercingetorix must not be missed.

A la Suisse
A grateful tribute from a child of Strasbourg commemorating the Suisse aid during the siege of Strasbourg in 1870 in the Franco-Prussian War.

Lazarus von Schwendi's head
Read my earlier blog for further information.

A meal in Alsace without Riesling is not possible. The wine served in liter bottles at the Restaurant Bartholdi (sic!)  a coulé à flots (flowed in streams). As a starter, we had a dandelion salad with a poached egg; the main course was a chicken d'Alsace in Riesling sauce (What else?) with mushrooms and baker's noodles. For dessert the restaurant served a tarte aux pruneaux (prune pie).

Following the three-course lunch, our group walked to Bartholdi's Colmar statues.

Son of Colmar Jean Rapp, called Napoleon's fearless general
Son of Colmar Amiral Armand Joseph Bruat with a birdie
Johann Roesselmann Schultheiß (sheriff) and savior of Colmar
This was a memorable excursion. Dr. Karl Kunibert Schäfer guided the group with his enthusiasm and expertise. Thank you!

NB: Click on the pictures to enlarge

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