Made-in-Baltimore ‘Fearless Girl’ Sculpture Gets a Reprieve, Will Remain on Display in New York

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“Fearless Girl,” the sculpture made in Baltimore that has attracted national attention for staring down a charging bull in lower Manhattan, just received permission to remain on display until early next year.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced this week that the sculpture of a ponytailed girl with a defiant stance, cast by New Arts Foundry in Hampden, can stay on a city-owned traffic island through February 2018.

The 50-inch-high sculpture was originally supposed to come down on April 2, but it became a tourist draw and an internet sensation after it was installed on March 8, International Women’s Day.

Since the installation near Broadway and Morris Street, thousands of people have come to see how the figure stands up to Arturo Di Modica’s “Charging Bull” sculpture nearby. Women’s rights advocates have called it inspiring and empowering. Nearly 30,000 people signed a petition to keep it up. That led the mayor to reconsider how long it should be around.

“Sometimes a symbol helps us become whole, and I think the ‘Fearless Girl’ is having that same effect,” de Blasio said yesterday during a televised news conference held to announce that the sculpture will get a longer-term permit through a city art program. “She is inspiring everyone, in a moment when we need inspiration.”

With the extended permit, “she’ll be asserting herself and affirming her strength even after her temporary permit expires – a fitting path for a girl who refuses to quit,” the mayor said.

“Fearless Girl” was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, an asset management firm, working with the McCann New York ad agency. The asset manager said it wanted to send a message: that more women should be appointed to the boards of U.S. companies. The artist was Kristen Visbal of Lewes, Del. New Arts Foundry cast it in bronze after the artist sculpted it in clay.

A representative of the foundry declined to answer questions about the sculpture or give her name, saying New Arts was under instructions from State Street. However, she said everyone at the foundry has been following the latest announcements about Fearless Girl.

“We’re thrilled,” she said. “I can tell you that.”

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts


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