The New York Stock Exchange pediment is undoubtedly one of the most attractive sights in Lower Manhattan. However, most visitors are there to pay tribute to the god of finances and the nearby bull's testicles. Others come to admire the sculptural figures on the pediment designed by two great masters of the American Renaissance, John Quincy Adams Ward, and Paul Wayland Barlett. Nevertheless, the identity of the man who executed the works remains in the shadows except for the strictly encyclopedic or museum references. His name was Getulio Piccirilli, one of the six brothers from the Piccirilli Studio in the Bronx where many of the celebrated sculptures populating the public space in New York were created, including the seating Abraham at the Lincoln Memorial. The video included in this brief but spectacular blog entry (a silent tribute to PBS) was made in my editing room during the location scout and research for the film The Italian Factor by Eduardo Montes-Bradley. The dreadful background music is royalty-free content courtesy of YouTube.
The Sculpture Notes on the New York Stock Exchange pediment from the blog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery
The pediment consists of 11 figures. The central figure is Integrity, a classically robed female figure wearing a winged cap and standing on a stepped base. She stretches both of her arms outward with clenched fists. At her feet are two naked children who sit on either side of her base. One child reads a book, and the other examines a grain hamper. Figures representing the "works of man" are positioned on either side of Integrity. To her proper right is the symbol of Mechanical Production depicted by a nude male figure who holds a gear shift with his proper right hand and a gear with his proper left hand. Next to him is a male figure who symbolizes International Trade. He stands with his proper right hand resting on a ship's wheel. Next to him is a group of two male figures, one reclining and one kneeling, studying some charts. These two figures represent Realizing Intelligence and Science. On the other side of Integrity are figures representing the "works of man" which relate to gifts of the earth.
The first figure to Integrity's proper left is a nude male who walks bent over under the weight of a sack he's carrying on his back. In the background is a relief of wheat sheaths. Standing next to him is a female dressed in a skirt, blouse, and kerchief. In her proper right hand, she holds a distaff. These two figures represent Agriculture. Next to them is a group of two nude males, both crouching to examine a rock. These two figures represent Mining. At each corner of the pediment is a wave which symbolizes the influence of the Stock Exchange, which stretches from sea to sea.