NEW YORK - Times Square. In the famous photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt for LIFE magazine on V-J Day, August 14, 1945, a sailor kisses a nurse on Times Square; this one moment of joy came to symbolize the joy of the war’s end. Now, 60 years to the day later, artist J. Seward Johnson has revisited this moment in the form of a life-sized sculpture. The sculpture was on display for four days last week in Times Square, in the very spot where the celebrated kiss took place, at the intersection of Broadway and 7Th avenue, between 43rd and 44th streets.
The nurse in the photo, Edith Shain, 86, was on Times Square Friday to welcome the sculpture, and on Sunday was joined by her lip-locking sailor friend, 78-year-old Carl Muscarello, for a “kiss-in” to celebrate the anniversary of V-J Day.
Although LIFE magazine has never revealed the identities of the 1945 kissing couple, and many have claimed to be the actual Victory kissers, Edith, who claims to have been identified by photographer Eisenstadt as the nurse, even claims to not know the true identity of the sailor in the photo. More than twenty men have come forward to claim the fame, but Muscarello, a retired NYPD detective, seems to have the strongest case with Edith, having passed a series of “trick questions” about that day in Times Square.