I have always been fascinated by The New York Stock Exchange Building and its pediment. This landmark architectural masterpiece opened its doors on April 22, 1903 and the sculptures were unveiled in 1904.
The 110 ft wide pediment and the 11 figures up there are deep and meaningful, so for informative reading, I’ve borrowed the description below from the Smithsonian Institute’s website:
“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 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”.