Who Do American Monuments Honor the Most? A Landmark Study Finally Has Answers.

"There are eleven times more mermaids than congresswomen."

Joan of Arc is more popular than Alexander Hamilton. Saint Francis of Assisi edges out Robert E. Lee. And there are 11 times more mermaids than congresswomen. These are some of the more surprising findings of the first comprehensive survey of America’s public monuments, the results of which were released today. The report’s creators sifted through nearly half a million federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial records to provide a richly detailed—and deeply revealing—view of the nation’s memorial landscape. Called the National Monument Audit, the study funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation adds important data to the country’s fraught debate over who and what should be memorialized in America’s public spaces.




Gillian Brockell, "America’s 50,000 Monuments: More Mermaids than Congresswomen, More Confederates than Abolitionists," 
The Washington Post, October 6, 2021.

Valentina Di Liscia, "Violence Is The Most Common Subject of Commemoration in US Monuments,"Hyperallergic, October 3, 2021.

Nate Berg, "22 U.S. Monuments Feature Mermaids. Just Two Represent Congresswomen,"Fast Company, September 30, 2021.

Taylor Dafoe, "Half of the Top 50 Most Memorialized Figures in the United States Owned Slaves, According to a New Survey of the Country’s Monuments,"Artnet News, September 29, 2021.

Sarah Jordan, "Who Deserves a Statue — And Who Never Did? Philly’s Monument Lab May Have Answers," Philadelphia Magazine, October 16, 2021.

Zachary Small, "They’re White, Male and on Their Pedestals, for the Time Being,"The New York Times, September 29, 2021.