The Arts

Lady Liberty atop Lake Mendota, seen in February 2019. Photo by Jeff Miller. Photo courtesy of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

How A College Prank Turned Into A Public Art Tradition

The inflatable replica that rests on the lake’s solid surface isn’t a political statement, nor a throwback to the ending of 1969’s “Planet of the Apes,” but a decades-long tradition founded on a good laugh. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has staged the display at different times for more than four decades, starting in 1979 as a campaign stunt.

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