NYC’s New Monument “The Girl Puzzle” Honors Journalist Nellie Bly

Currently being installed on Roosevelt Island, “The Girl Puzzle” is a new bronze monument depicting the faces of five women. By Amanda Matthews, the installation honors one of the location’s most famed residents, journalist Nellie Bly, who, in 1887, acted her way into being committed to the island’s insane asylum in order to report on the abusive treatment of women patients. When Matthews read Bly’s reports (the first of which inspired the title for the monument), she was taken with the journalist’s empathy. She decided to sculpt Bly, as well as four statues that depict family and friends who remind her of the journalist and who bring much-needed visibility to Black, Asian American and queer women. These large statues surround Bly’s, while the back of the monument features excerpts from her writing and an optical facial illusion that pays homage to the women who suffered in the asylum. An audio app is also included to share the story behind each face. Read more about it at The Lily.

Image courtesy of Jeenah Moon/The Washington Post