CLERK OF COURT & COMPTROLLER

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA

Lady Justice

About that image at the top of the Home page

The image gracing the top of our redesigned website is a photo detail from the striking sculpture that greets visitors outside the George Edgecomb Courthouse in downtown Tampa.

The sculpture, titled “Veritas et Justitia,” was created by renowned New York City artist Audrey Flack. The 14-ft. bronze and gold-leafed statue was reportedly the first female statue by a female artist in an outdoor environment in Hillsborough County. It was dedicated in March 2007.

Flack’s stature has only grown since then. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and the Guggenheim Museum.

The courthouse statue, which translates to Truth and Justice, is Flack’s personal vision of Lady Justice, the centuries-old symbol that traditionally showed a blindfolded woman holding a sword in one hand and scales in the other.

Flack presents Lady Justice with upraised hands, no sword or scales.

"The figure herself is the scales of justice," she has said. She initially rejected including a blindfold but compromised with one that has slits. “So she’s blind but she can see,” she explained. 

Clerk of Court & Comptroller Pat Frank likes the work so much she arranged for a bust of the statue to be displayed in the lobby of the historic County Courthouse, 419 Pierce St.

“I thought it was well done,” Clerk Frank says. “I like the way she peeks through the blindfold to show that other things enter into justice than just words. And I like the idea that her hands stretch upwards to give her spiritual guidance.”

Although the statue is made of bronze, the dominant colors are green and gold. “I like the verdant color and the contrast with gold,” the Clerk said. “It’s like the Earth: It’s precious.”

The green was more pronounced when it was first made but has weathered with time and the elements to a lighter shade as Flack expected.

Flack was born in New York City in 1931, and began her art career as an abstract expressionist, and eventually “gained notoriety for her work as a photorealist painter. She holds the distinction of being the first photorealist painter to have a piece bought by the Museum of Modern Art in New York,” according to artnet.com.

Flack shifted focus again, this time to public sculptures. Besides Veritas et Justitia, Flack created the contemporized classical statue, "Bella Apollonia,” a 5-foot bronze figure for the Tampa Museum of Art.

 Veritas et Justitia “reflects the dignity and beauty of archaic Greek sculpture while also seeking to invent the new ideal woman for the 21st century,” according to publicartarchive.com

Flack lives and works in New York City, where she continues her work as an artist. “Sometimes, I think, ‘Oh, I just want to play my banjo,’ ” she told The New York Times in 2015. “But I’ve been blessed and cursed with incredible energy. I’ll never stop.”

Read more about “Veritas et Justitia” in this Tampa Bay Times article.