Franklin D. Roosevelt Hope Memorial
"Celebrating Franklin D. Roosevelt's perseverance despite the paralysis of his legs, the FDR Hope Memorial provides inspiration to those struggling with the extraordinary personal challenges of all forms of disability. The memorial will open on Roosevelt Island in NYC—with the United Nations within FDR's view."
"Infected with the polio virus at age 39, FDR never walked again unaided. After years of rehabilitation, FDR governed New York State and led the United States as President. From a wheelchair, he guided the country out of the Great Depression and rallied the nation to victory in World War II. During those years, in order to maintain an image of power, FDR did not call attention to his disability."
"Now, in the first memorial to FDR that focuses on his disability, the FDR Hope Memorial accurately depicts FDR's condition, as captured in a joyful moment, greeting a similarly disabled young girl."
"The sculpture depicts a joyous moment when FDR has turned away from his work to greet a young girl who, like FDR, wears braces on her legs. She has tucked both of her crutches under one arm in anticipation of shaking hands with the president, who we know must be an extraordinary role model for her. Sculptor Meredith Bergmann was inspired by photographs (...) of similar encounters."
"As the first major public work of art dedicated to FDR's disability, the sculpture is unique in its frank depiction of FDR’s condition, with a strong upper body, thin, weakened legs, and an energy and confidence in his posture and warmth in his expression that belies his physical challenges."
It is planned to open in autumn 2016 or spring 2017.
(FDR Hope Memorial)
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Image via FDR Hope Memorial