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Featured Excerpt

Wherever You Go in New York City, Audrey Munson is Looking at You

Where's Audrey? Everywhere.

The following is an excerpt from “The Curse of Beauty” by James Bone.

Audrey Munson’s “most perfect form” still reigns over New York City and across the United States. You probably already know her, without even knowing you know her. You may have passed her on the street many times, unbeknownst. For she was America’s first supermodel.

She is the second-largest female figure in New York after the Statue of Liberty. Her gilded form stands twenty-five feet tall, holding a crown aloft as the symbol of the city, atop the vast Municipal Building across the street from City Hall.She frolics in the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel at the southeast entrance to Central Park, her celebrated dimples on full display to the shoppers at Fifth Avenue. Every day, office workers tramp past her as the centerpiece of the Maine Monument in Columbus Circle at the opposite corner of Central Park.

She stands on the arch at the end of the Manhattan Bridge as the Spirit of Commerce waving on commuters to their toil. She once also stood at the Brooklyn entrance of the Manhattan Bridge as Miss Manhattan and Miss Brooklyn. But those colossal forms now flank the entrance to the Brooklyn Museum.

Audrey is immortalized in stone at the New York Public Library and on the Frick House on Fifth Avenue. She is the reclining bronze figure of Memory on the Straus Memorial on the Upper West Side. She is the two grieving stone figures on the Firemen’s Memorial on Riverside Drive.

Wherever you go in New York City, Audrey is looking at you.

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