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The Insider's Connection

Central Park

The fate of the James Marion Sims Monument

How does a shifting social consciousness change a city’s landscape? Who is involved in deciding which stories a city tells? What constitutes a vital moment in a rapidly-changing city’s history? Over the course of 84 years, millions of people walking on the East Side of Cental Park nears 103rd Street expect to encounter a bronze monument. The statue was first erected in 1894 in Bryant Park, and then relocated to Central Park in 1934 to stand across the street from the New York Academy of Medicine, which became its permanent home. Standing on a massive granite pedestal reading “his brilliant achievement carried the same of American surgery throughout the entire world,” this statue told a fragmented history. The figure, James Marion Sims, widely referred to as the “Father of Modern Gynecology,” contributed innovative new techniques to a field that was…

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October 15, 2019