Bronze statue (2.60 m tall) of Columbus standing holding charts in his left hand at his side, and pointing outward with his right hand. The statue is on a marble pedestal (3.20 m) with bronze with four bronze bas relief tablets with scenes from Columbus's life (these bas relief were stolen by vandals and replaced by Italian American groups in 1991 when statue was refurbished). The reliefs show:
- Father Perez, confessor of Queen Isabella, blesses Columbus just before he undertakes the journey.
- An allegorical conception of Columbus's fleet.
- The landing of Columbus.
- "The Meeting of the Two Worlds"
Signed: V. MISERENDINO SC.
born genova italy 1436
discoverer of america
october 12, 1492
by the italian residents of
Dedicated 12 October 1925.
On October 11, 1992, rededication ceremonies of the newly restored statue of Christopher Columbus in the City Park of Reading marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage. The ceremonies also commemorated the sixty-seventh anniversary of the donation of the statue to the city by the Italians in 1925.
Interesting detail: in the booklet published at the occasion of the unveiling a photo is included of the "Reading Boy Who Posed for Columbus Statue.". This "boy" was Dr. Jesse Mercer Gehman, a physical-culturist from Reading, who lived in New York.
- Vincenzo Miserendino (1876-1943),
Sources & Information
- Unveiling and Dedication of the Columbus Monument, published at this occasion on 12 October 1925. The photos of the tablets and Dr. Gehman are from this booklet, which is in the author's collection.
- The photo of Vincenzo Miserendino is sent to me by his great-granddaughter Ellen Zielinski from Austin, Texas, March 2004.
- NIAF, Tributes to Christopher Columbus in the United States.
- Joan Saverino, "Italians in Public Memory: Pageantry, Power and Imagining the Italian American, 1923-1940." The Italian American Review. v. 8:2 Autum/Winter 2001, pp. 83-111.
See also: Joan Lynn Saverino, Private Lives, Public Identities: The Italians of Reading and Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1890-1940. Ph.D. thesis. University of Pennsylvania, 1996.
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS (Smithsonian Institution Research Information system).
Location N 40°20'4" W 75°54'51"
Item Code: uspa17;
Added: 7 August 2004
/ Updated: 21 November 2010
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