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The Angel of Central Park: A “Made in Italy” New York Icon



The Angel of Central Park: A “Made in Italy” New York Icon

The Angel of Central Park: A “Made in Italy” New York Icon

A celebration of the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of
the Angel of the Waters and
launch of the English edition of

Emma and the Angel of Central Park.
The Story of a New York Icon and the Woman who Created It.

By M.T. Cometto


Please RSVP at

Indicating "Emma and the Angel"


Welcome remarks: Prof. Fabio Finotti, IIC-NY Director


Author Maria Teresa Cometto

in conversation with:

John Steele Gordon
writer and descendant of Emma Stebbins

Prof. Anthony J. Tamburri
Dean of John D. Calandra Italian American Institute Queens College CUNY

Julia Markus
author of Across An Untried Sea: Discovering Women’s Lives Hidden in The Shadow of Convention and Time

Lisa Ackerman
Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment


Emma and the Angel of Central Park is a wonderfully absorbing biography about the creator of one of New York’s most admired and iconic sculptures. Expansive in breadth and meticulous in detail, this book places Emma Stebbins amidst a broad panorama of New York and Rome, and insightfully recounts how she navigated nineteenth-century cultural, artistic, and gender mores. Thayer Tolles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The iconic Bethesda Fountain with the Angel of the Waters was inaugurated on May 31st 1873. Maria Teresa Cometto’s book is the first biography ever of the sculptor who created it: Emma Stebbins, the first woman to receive a public art commission in New York City. Emma was part of a group of American women sculptors who lived in Rome in the 19th century -- a group Henry James dubbed “the white marmorean flock.” It is in Rome that Emma created the statue that was meant to celebrate the clean pure waters in New York City. Born in Manhattan, Emma was “married” to the actress Charlotte Cushman. Women. Gays. Immigrants. A bridge between the U.S. and Italy. Environmental consciousness. Each of these is an integral part of the Angel of Central Park.

Maria Teresa Cometto has been living in New York since 2000. In addition to working for almost 30 years as a journalist for the leading Italian daily Corriere della Sera, she has also written several books. Click HERE for more info.

With the supporto of:

carpano 1branca




Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Time: From 6:00 pm To 7:00 pm

Organized by : IIC-NY

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura - NY