ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — Governor Kathy Hochul officially unveiled a carving of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Great Western Staircase at the New York State Capitol on Monday, August 21.
Justice Ginsburg’s portrait is the first to be added to the staircase since its completion in 1898. She is only the seventh woman to be depicted on it, along with such historic figures as Molly Pitcher, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Clara Barton.
“Throughout her career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg served as a driving force for women’s rights and tirelessly fought against gender discrimination,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “As the first woman to be elected as Governor of New York State, I join the ranks of millions of women inspired by Justice Ginsburg’s wisdom and courage. Her portrait’s presence in the Capitol will stand as a lasting reminder of her extraordinary legacy and New York State’s forefront position in the movements for women’s suffrage and rights.”
Ginsburg is also the second Supreme Court Justice to be portrayed on the staircase. Her carving is located directly above Chief Justice John Jay, who served as the United States’ first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Her likeness will be on the second floor of the Capitol, a place only men were included before today’s enshrinement.
The carving was shaped by sculptor Meredith Bergmann, who also sculpted the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument in Central Park in New York City.
“I was honored to have been selected to sculpt the portrait of one of my heroes for this magnificent, idealistic staircase,” Bergmann said in a statement. “Justice Ginsburg was a shining example of what a Supreme Court Justice could be, and now she can greet and inspire our lawmakers as they pass her on their way to work.”
The new portrait of Justice Ginsburg can best be viewed from the third floor. Additional information can be found at the State Capitol and on the New York State Office of General Services’ website at ogs.ny.gov.