Lady Liberty or "Mother of Exiles" as she was coined by the immigrants passing through Ellis Island, is a gift to the U.S. from France, after the Civil War. She was the first thing many of our ancestors saw when coming into this country. To them it meant they had made into America, where there was hope and dreams to be fufilled. I wanted to reflect her in this light: she is a woman, a symbolic mother of our nation, and she has quite a history. Hence, the rough and weathered apperance our Lady Liberty was given in this painting.