Written By: Ben Cosgrove

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable pieces of public art, not only in America but around the world. At the time of its dedication on October 28, 1886, this gift from France was, at 305 feet and one inch, the tallest structure in New York City. While its status has been dwarfed in that one measure, its status as an icon has only deepened over time.

Here are photos of Lady Liberty as captured by LIFE photographers through the years.

Liz Ronk edited this gallery for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

 

Statue of Liberty, 1951.

Statue of Liberty, 1951.

Margaret Bourke-White/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1946.

Statue of Liberty, 1946.

Andreas Feininger/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1950.

Statue of Liberty, 1950.

Margaret Bourke-White/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1956.

Statue of Liberty, 1956.

Dmitri Kessel/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1951.

Statue of Liberty, 1951.

Margaret Bourke-White/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1959.

Statue of Liberty, 1959.

Stan Wayman/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Harry Belafonte speaks at a civil rights rally at the Statue of Liberty, 1960.

Statue of Liberty, 1960.

Al Fenn/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Korea's Children's Choir visits the Statue of Liberty, 1954.

Statue of Liberty, 1954.

Peter Stackpole/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1931.

Statue of Liberty, 1931.

Pictures Inc./Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1961.

Statue of Liberty, 1961.

Howard Sochurek/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1939.

Statue of Liberty, 1939.

Margaret Bourke-White/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, unknown date.

Statue of Liberty, date unknown.

Al Fenn/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, 1939.

Statue of Liberty, 1939.

Margaret Bourke-White/Life Pictures/Getty Images

Statue of Liberty, 1942.

Statue of Liberty, 1942.

Andreas Feininger/Life Pictures/Getty Images

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