Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt Will Be Removed From Outside American Museum of Natural History in New York


By Cassandra Fairbanks

The equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt that sits outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York is being removed.

The decision to remove it was made on Monday after a unanimous vote by the New York City Public Design Commission.

The statue received criticism last year during the Black Lives Matter riots, as people claimed that it was “racist” and a symbol of colonialism due to Roosevelt being depicted on a horse leading African and Native men who are flanking his sides. Even Mayor Bill DeBlasio got involved, saying that it was “problematic.”

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the time. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

During Monday’s meeting on the issue, Sam Biederman of the New York City Parks Department said that although the statue “was not erected with malice of intent,” its composition “supports a thematic framework of colonization and racism,” the New York Times reports.

The two men are not meant to represent individual people, but continents, which used to be a common practice in the art of statues. The statue was dedicated to Carl Akeley, a man considered to be the father of modern taxidermy, who had accompanied Roosevelt on a year-long expedition to Africa.

James Earle Fraser, the creator of the statue, designed it specifically to sit at the entrance to the Museum’s hall of dioramas, which is dedicated to Akeley.

Fraser said that “the two figures at [Roosevelt’s] side are guides symbolizing the continents of Africa and America, and if you choose may stand for Roosevelt’s friendliness to all races.”

Supporters of the statue have argued that Roosevelt was an early champion of civil rights and equality for black and Native Americans during the early 20th century. It is well known that he was close to Booker T. Washington and appointed Minnie Cox as the first black regional postmaster in the United States.

“The understanding of statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism became even more evident in the wake of the movement for racial justice that emerged after the murder of George Floyd,” Dan Slippen, vice president of government relations at the museum, said at the meeting. “It has become clear that removing the statue would be a symbol of progress toward an inclusive and equitable community.”

Museum president Ellen V. Futter claimed the decision did not reflect a judgment about Roosevelt, but was driven by the sculpture’s “hierarchical composition”

For corrections, please email corrections@timcast.com

*For corrections please email corrections@timcast.com*

23 responses to “Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt Will Be Removed From Outside American Museum of Natural History in New York”

  1. SenorSenpai says:

    What is the opposite of Based? For $500.

  2. knails says:

    Naive iconoclasts that don’t know what they’re doing.

  3. Another Beer says:

    Seem odd since he built the national parks system as a way to conserve our land. I know he was also a hunter, but at the time that was also a way to get samples of species for museums around the world.

  4. SheaMeehan says:

    Shame. Is an awesome piece of Art.

  5. kelceywhite says:

    As a card carrying Native, this is stupid and a waste of time.

  6. UnknownIdentity says:

    If we start to destroy our history even if its racist and hurts peoples feelings. We humans are doomed to repeat history.

  7. JRizzo says:

    I don’t even care anymore, let them cancel themselves into oblivion. There truly is two societies in the US, Americans that respect history and personal responsibility, and the pseudo intellectual mid wits that loathe themselves and our country. It’s high time we do as Malice proposed, let the great divorce happen.

  8. Gypsy415 says:

    I can’t stand this horse manure. “The understanding of statues and monuments being powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism”…. NY should just burn to the ground in its entirety with the amount of stupid that resides there

  9. CrispyBacon says:

    That statue is awesome in person and that Indian and African look badass standing there next to Teddy.

  10. Philhead0137@gmail.com says:

    Why is there no counterstrike against these obvious attacks against the nation?
    This is undoubtedly subversion

  11. dreamscape.artisan says:

    Who wants to put a collection together to buy that fucker? NYC doesn’t deserve it anyway!

    • Oldchap90 says:

      Where is the statue going? Other people around here seem to want to pool their money together to buy it. Should be cheap if it’ll just be scrapped.

  12. 51773 says:

    This is really good reporting, it would be great if Tim pool kept the promises he made in the launch video of the record breaking SCNR / Subverse wefunder and delivered this kind of reporting there as well. Maybe then all those investors wouldn’t feel like they were lied to.

  13. tdkuhl says:

    I don’t get the removal of statues. How are we supposed to discuss the history that surrounds these people?

  14. D20attackrolls says:

    That is such an awesome statue, these people are nonsensical. I’m sure next Roosevelt Island outside of DC will need his statue removed and the island renamed even though it’s his acknowledgement for all the conservation he worked for. But he’s an olden white dude… So obviously he was evil and racist. 😡

  15. Feddy_Von_Wigglestein says:

    Ship it to Florida, we’ll find a public place for it.

  16. PolishMP731 says:

    I loathe these people. This man did many great things that he should be lauded for. He started the National Parks, as your article mentioned, he appointed the 1st black regional postmaster. He was a good man who overcame childhood disease.