nellie bly

Art, History, Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island’s Nellie Bly memorial revealed

By Devin Gannon, Fri, January 3, 2020

Design by Amanda Matthews; courtesy of RIOC

The design of a new memorial honoring investigative journalist Nellie Bly has been officially unveiled. Tapped by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, artist Amanda Matthews of Prometheus Art presented during a town hall last month “The Girl Puzzle” memorial, which will feature sculptures of Bly and four faces of women and girls who she interviewed. The memorial, whose design was first spotted by THE CITY, will beĀ installed in late 2020 at the tip of Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island.

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Art, History, Roosevelt Island

Sketch of the madhouse on Blackwell’s Island via NYPL; Photo of Nellie Bly via Wikimedia

An investigative journalist who exposed the horrible conditions of a New York City insane asylum will be honored with a memorial. In 1887, reporter Nellie Bly went undercover at the Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum, located on what is now Roosevelt Island, and documented the cruel treatment of women being held there. Her six-part investigative piece, “Ten Days in a Mad-House,” led to major changes, including increased funding for the asylum and removal of abusive staff members. To recognize her achievements, a monument will be erected next year on Roosevelt Island.

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