Foundry Educational Foundation Key Professor, Trent True contributes to Sisters in Liberty Collaborative Project

Foundry Educational Foundation Key Professor, Trent True contributes to Sisters in Liberty Collaborative Project

Kent State University and the Opera di Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, will celebrate a collaborative partnership around the creation of “Sisters in Liberty: From Florence, Italy, to New York, New York,” an exhibition opening on Oct. 17, 2019, and running through April 26, 2020, at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island in New York.

The 3D-printed replica of the Liberty of Poetry statue created by Kent State University will enable visitors to see the Italian predecessor to the U.S. Statue of Liberty located directly across Ellis Island to Liberty Island.

Trent True, Lecturer, and FEF Key Professor, cast the crown worn by the Liberty of Poetry statue at the College of Aeronautics and Engineering’s foundry. This is the only statue element that was Traditionally manufactured rather than created through 3D-printing.

The exhibition features two distinct sculptural personifications of liberty: New York City’s Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World and Florence’s Liberty of Poetry. Visitors to the exhibition will participate in a multimedia experience and be asked to consider the question “What does liberty mean to me?” The exhibition is meant to provide a space for learning and reflection on the quest for liberty and personal freedom and to honor the experiences of immigrants to this country.

Watch a video about the “Sisters in Liberty” exhibition.

For more information about Kent State and this exhibition, visit

About the Statues

In Italy during the 1860s, the sculptor Pio Fedi was designing a magnificent tomb with a figure of the Liberty of Poetry to honor Giovanni Battista Niccolini, a poet who had inspired and supported the Risorgimento, the Italian struggle for self-determination. The Niccolini monument was inaugurated with a great public celebration in 1877 at the Florentine church of Santa Croce, known as the Temple of the Italian Glories as it is the burial site for some of Italy’s most prominent figures, including Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Simultaneously in the 1870s, Frédéric Bartholdi, a French sculptor, envisioned a great gift to the American people in honor of the centennial of American independence. His figure of Liberty Enlightening the World, commonly known as the Statue of Liberty, was inaugurated in New York harbor in 1886. Both statues bear a significant physical resemblance to each other, as well as a symbolic connection. The Liberty of Poetry was made to represent creative freedom and freedom from foreign occupation, while the Statue of Liberty has long been a symbol of freedom and independence for the American people. However, whether Bartholdi and Fedi ever met or whether they knew of each other’s vision of liberty remains an unknown. Many believe that Bartholdi was inspired by Fedi’s drawings when he was in Florence in the 1860s during the Franco-Prussian War.

About Opera di Santa Croce

Opera di Santa Croce is the nonprofit organization in charge of the church and monumental complex of Santa Croce from the 14th century. Its mission is to preserve and promote the cultural, spiritual and artistic heritage that stemmed from the Franciscan roots but flourished with the history of Florence into our modern times. After more than six centuries, this is the first time Opera di Santa Croce has created an exhibition outside Italy.

For more information about Opera di Santa Croce, visit

POSTED: Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 2:10pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 10:37am