La Liberte Eploree.

Totally Hot Lady Liberty

Field review by the editors.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

You've never seen Lady Liberty like this. Curvaceous, young, her robe-like flag thrown open, Liberty rises atop of a pile of slumped corpses, shouting to the heavens, supposedly in horror (although it looks more like exhilaration), and totally nude.

The statue's official name is La Liberte Eploree ("Freedom Tearful"), also called Liberty in Distress. The nine-foot-tall bronze was sculpted in 1928 by Frederick William MacMonnies, highly regarded in the U.S. and France (he'd been a young studio assistant to sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens) and a star of the neoclassical "Beaux-Arts" style. MacMonnies' work was often relaxed, romantic, whimsical -- but here he lurched into loony histrionics, trying to create a classical Greco-Roman statue for Atlantic City's Greek temple-style World War I monument.

La Liberte Eploree was meant to ennoble Atlantic City, but instead she became a target for vandals. Naked Miss Liberty was restored in 1988, and her surrounding circular temple was then sealed within a steel cage. She can still be admired, but only from a respectful, hands-off distance.

Totally Hot Lady Liberty

Address:
Albany Ave., Atlantic City, NJ
Directions:
On the northeast corner of Albany and Ventnor Aves, where US Hwy 322 enters Atlantic City. Park on Ventnor and walk a block north to the circular temple.
Hours:
Memorial interior is usually gated; pix are possible thru the bars.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Miss America Crowns YouMiss America Crowns You, Atlantic City, NJ - < 1 mi.
Home of the Miss America PageantHome of the Miss America Pageant, Atlantic City, NJ - < 1 mi.
Frank Sinatra's Used Towel, EnshrinedFrank Sinatra's Used Towel, Enshrined, Atlantic City, NJ - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Big Champagne Bottle, Bayville, NJ - 42 mi.

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February 16, 2019

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