Freedom of the Human Spirit is a 28-foot-tall bronze figurative sculpture that sits just to the east of Arthur Ashe Stadium. It was created by Marshall M. Fredericks for the 1964 World’s Fair. The New York City Parks Department describes it as a “Group of two upright figures (heroic scale), one male, one female, supported by three swans in flight, attached to upright spikes, on a circular pedestal.”

About this piece, Fredericks commented:

“I realized that great multitudes of people, of all ages, and from all walks of life would see this sculpture…I tried to design the work so that it was as free of the earth, as free in space as possible…the thought that we can free ourselves from earth, from the material forces which try to restrain and hamper us, is a happy, encouraging and inspiring one, and I sincerely hope that my work will convey this message.”

When the statue was restored in 2015, The New York Times pulled no punches in describing it:

In its lack of artistic finesse, however, it might as well be called “Naked Passengers Falling on a Saguaro Cactus From a Jetliner That Has Hit a Flock of Geese During Its Approach to Nearby La Guardia Airport.”

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