Audrey Munson: “Miss Manhattan” Died in Obscurity in 1996

Keith York City

“Civic Fame” atop the New York Municipal Building, 1913

Walking around New York City, it’s hard to avoid Audrey Munson. The girl is everywhere, gazing down on us from above. She has been holding vigil over Manhattan for generations and will likely continue to do so for centuries to come. But hardly anyone knows who she is.

Audrey Munson, 1915

Audrey Marie Munson was born June 8, 1891, in Rochester, New York. Her parents, Edgar and Katherine, divorced when Audrey was young, and she moved with her mother to New York City. It was there that, in 1906, 15-year-old Audrey was noticed by photographer Ralph Draper. Captivated by her looks, he presented the girl to his noted sculptor friend Isidore Konti, who was similarly taken under her spell.

Audrey as the Spirit of Commerce on the Manhattan Bridge, 1912

She was beautiful; there is no denying that. And her looks captured…

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