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“Spirit of Achievement” by Nina Saemundsson

"Spirit of Achievement” by Nina Saemundsson - myndPhoto: Archive of the Waldorf Astoria New York

The Consulate of Iceland in New York is celebrating Europe Day with our fellow European Consulates in NYC by sharing our favorite sites with a connection to home - join us! #EuropeUnitedNYC.

New York has been an inspiration and home to some of Iceland’s most beloved artists. Going back to the “Roaring Twenties”, the story of Icelandic pathfinder, artist and sculptor Nina Saemundsson is closely tied with the city’s history. Looking up at the entrance of the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue you will normally find her most famous piece “Spirit of Achievement”, from 1931. It was chosen from 400 entries in an open competition in anticipation of the opening of the hotel. This signature art piece has been down during the building’s renovation, but we look forward to seeing it up again in the near future.

Throughout the years other Icelandic artists have been drawn to New York’s unique atmosphere. The city was also home to famous Icelandic artists Nína Tryggvadóttir and Louisa Matthíasdóttir, who both studied at the Art Students League of New York back in the 40’s.

Learn more about the “Spirit of Achievement” on the website of The Archive of the Waldorf Astoria New York.

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