Visit us on Facebook Visit us on Twitter
Get Italy Culture Updates On Our Italy Culture Newsletter
Mother Italy Statue Poster
Get a copy of the Mother Italy Poster
Italian Heritage and Culture Committee-NY, Inc. is the caretaker of the Mother Italy Statue and holds an annual tribute to mothers at the statue located on the campus of Hunter College, New York City at 68th Street / Lexington Avenue.
Over the years, the statue passed through the hands of Massari to a Dr. Nicola Brunori, a noted resident of the Bronx, and then shepherded by Justice Dominic R. Massaro of the New York Supreme Court, all in the hopes of finding a permanent home. While it had been thought to be a part of the 1964 Worlds Fair, it was placed in storage and then sometime in 1990, owing to the then president of the Italian Historical Society of America, a Comm. Donato D'Agosto, the statue was then resurrected and restored. Fortuitously, Hunter College, then president, a Dr. David Caputo agreed to have the Statue unveiled at its current location on June 26, 2000 and Massaro stated at that time: acknowledging the Italian immigrants, the bonds between Italy and United States, and symbolic of all mothers of every nationality who send their children to a nation of immigrants.
The statue titled, Mother Italy, (c 1953) is a work in bronze measuring 9' wide and 7' high. It was created by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Massari.
The plaque placed at the base 2000 reads:
"Dedicated to the Italian immigrant....symbolic of mothers of every nationality who sent their children to build a nation of immigrants, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the equality of all those who came, and of those yet to come."
Italia is the central figure "always young and vibrant. " She embraces two female figures who represent the musical and theatrical arts, fields in which Italians have distinguished themselves. To the right is a monk who represents the religious qualities of Italians, and religion's concern for humanity symbolized by a woman and child. To the left is a man carrying a pick, the tool of -the laborer. His features symbolize the indomitable spirit of the Italian workingman in the United States. The child at his side stands for the American-born children of the Italian immigrant, who through education have made innumerable contributions to their native country. At either end of the group is a bust, of Columbus, who personifies the age of the Italian explorer, and a bust of Roma, representing the universality of spirit in the arts and the law to which Italy has contributed so greatly.
At the base of the group has an inscription engraved into it that reads: "The contribution of the Italian labor and thought to the development of American life." Also in base relief are a radio antenna symbolizing the achievements of the inventor, Guilermo Marconi, and subway cars representing the subway systems of the United States built by some of the first Italian immigrants. Also to be seen are symbols of Italy's contribution to such diverse fields as horticulture and sports. The sports symbols are found on the reverse side of the sculpture and depict boxing, cycling, boating and aviation.
Today, the Mother Italy Statue represents the spirit of the City of New York with its varied immigrants. The IHCC-NY, Inc. has existed for some 36 years and has presented varied themes each year, particularly coincidental to the annual celebrations of Italian Heritage and Culture Month in October.