List of Sculptures in Central Park - Authors and Historical Figures

Authors and Historical Figures

  • The 107th Infantry Memorial is dedicated to the men who served in the 107th New York Infantry Regiment, originally Seventh Regiment of New York, during World War I. The regiment was, as its name implies, stationed in New York, and consisted of males mainly from this region. In 1917, the National Guard's 7th New York Infantry Registry Division. While in France, they saw heavy action, and at the end of the war in November 1918, of the 3,700 men originally in the regiment, 580 men were killed and 1,487 wounded, with four of the regiment's soldiers being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The memorial depicts seven men; the one to the far right carrying two Mills bombs, while supporting the wounded soldier next to him. To his right another infantryman (depicting Robert Russell Bennett, a 107 combat veteran who was asked by the artist to model for the statue along with 6 other actual 107 veterans of the Somme) rushes towards the enemy positions, while the helmet less squad leader and another soldier are approaching the enemy with bayonets fixed. To the far left, one soldier is holding a mortally wounded soldier, keeping him on his feet. The bronze memorial was donated by 7th-107th Memorial Committee, and was designed and sculpted by Karl Illava, who served in the 107th IR as a sergeant in World War I. The monument was first conceived about 1920, was made in 1926–1927 and was placed in the park and unveiled in 1927, near the perimeter wall at Fifth Avenue and 67th Street.
  • Hans Christian Andersen, the famous Danish fairy-tale writer, his most notable work being "The Ugly Duckling". His statue features him sitting and reading to a stray duck. The 1956 work by sculptor Georg J. Lober was constructed with contributions from Danish and American schoolchildren. It was cast at Modern Art Foundry, Astoria Queens NY.
  • Balto was dedicated to the sled dogs that led several dogsled teams through a snow-storm in the winter of 1925 in order to deliver medicines that would stop a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska. The sculpture is slightly larger than the real-life dog, and is placed on a rock outcropping on the main path leading north from the Tisch Children's Zoo. The sculpture was created by Frederick George Richard Roth, and placed in the park in 1925. Like so many other monuments in the park, it's made of bronze, and it was donated to the park by the Balto Monument Committee to the City of New York. Under the sculpture, a small plaque can be found, containing the following inscription:
Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxins six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the Winter of 1925.
  • The equestrian sculpture of Simón Bolívar was originally sited on the rock outcropping between 82nd and 83rd Streets overlooking Central Park West, where the Bolívar Hotel, once facing it, commemorates its location. After Sixth Avenue was renamed Avenue of the Americas in 1945, the sculpture was relocated in the 1950s to be paired with that of José de San Martín at the head of the avenue.
  • The Burnett Memorial Fountain, dedicated to the author Frances Hodgson Burnett, was placed in the Conservatory Garden when it reopened in 1936, a donation by the ad-hoc Children's Garden Building Committee. It was designed and created by Bessie Potter Vonnoh between 1926 and 1936. When Frances Hodgson Burnett died in 1924, some of her friends wanted to honor her memory by creating a storytelling area in Central Park. They chose the Conservatory Garden's south garden, at 104th Street and Fifth Avenue, as the site for the memorial. It is believed that the two figures, a reclining boy playing the flute and the young girl holding the bowl, represent Mary and Dickon, the main characters from The Secret Garden.
  • In 1892, the sculpture of Christopher Columbus was donated to Central Park by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his arrival in the Americas. The statue replicates one made by Jeronimo Suñol in 1892, located at the Plaza de Colon, in Madrid. The New York version was placed in the park in 1894 at the foot of the Mall, and is today one of two monuments of Columbus found in the park's environs, the other being the statue surmounting the column at Columbus Circle. The sculpture depicts the explorer standing with outstretched arms, looking towards the heavens in gratitude for his successful voyage.
  • The Jagiello Grunwald Monument is an equestrian statue of King Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland, holding over his head two crossed swords, is the largest sculpture in Central Park. The monument commemorates the medieval Battle of Grunwald, where Polish knights supported by Lithuanian, Ruthenian, Czech, and Tatar knights defeated the Teutonic Order. POLAND is inscribed on both sides of the plinth, and in the front lower-right corner is engraved the name of the sculptor, Stanislaw K. Ostrowski (1879–1947), who created this bronze monument for the Polish 1939 New York World's Fair pavilion. As a result of the outbreak of the World War II, the monument stayed in New York; in July 1945 it was presented to the City of New York by the King Jagiello Monument Committee and permanently placed in Central Park with the cooperation of the last pre-Communist consul of Poland in New York, Kazimierz Krasicki. The King Jagiełło monument is situated on the east side of the Turtle Pond, across from Belvedere Castle and southeast of the Great Lawn.
  • Fitz-Greene Halleck has been described as the least known literary figure today on Literary Walk, despite being the only person to have a memorial unveiled by the then-president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877, ten years after his death in November 1867. The monument was funded by the use of public subscription, and had a long list of prominent guests and speakers at the dedication and unveiling of the monument, among them the president's cabinet, General of the Army William T.Sherman, the poets Bayard Taylor, George Henry Boker and William Cullen Bryant, as well as other notable citizens. The monument is made in bronze by James Wilson Alexander MacDonald, and is placed near the Literary Walk and The Mall. The monument has been thoroughly refurbished by The Central Park Conservancy, first by hot waxing it in 1983, and then again in 1992, as well as in 1999, when it was dewaxed, pressure-washed and repatinated, and then protected by a coating of a corrosion-inhibiting lacquer.
  • The standing sculpture of Alexander Hamilton standing in a grove of apple trees and crabapples west of the East Drive behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art was "presented by John C. Hamilton 1880", according to the inscription on its granite base. The donor was a descendant of Hamilton.
  • Bust of the architect Richard Morris Hunt at the Hunt Memorial, along with two other figures sculpted by Daniel Chester French. Flanking the Hunt bust are statuettes, one holding a sculptor's mallet and a palette, representing the allied arts, while the other holds a model for the Administration Building at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, designed by Hunt. On the perimeter wall of Central Park, Fifth Avenue and 70th Street, opposite the Frick Collection, which was built on the site of the Lenox Library, also designed by architect Hunt. The granite and marble Hunt memorial was designed by American architect Bruce Price.
  • Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns are sculpted in bronze by Sir John Steell, the eminent Victorian sculptor. It was unveiled in Central Park, New York in 1880. It was intended to be a companion statue to one of Sir Walter Scott by the same sculptor, erected some eight years previously. It was the first statue of Robert Burns to be erected outside Scotland and was a gift to the City of New York from Saint Andrew's Society of the State of New York and the Scottish-American community. For this sculpture Steell closely followed the portrait of Robert Burns painted by Alexander Nasmyth in 1787. Seated on a tree stump with a quill pen in one hand, Burns looks up to heaven. He is thinking of his true love Mary Campbell, who died at an early age. It was to her that he had written the poem "Highland Mary" inscribed on the scroll at his feet. It therefore conformed closely to the popularly held image of the poet's likeness and was greatly admired, with casts being commissioned for statues in Dundee, London and Dunedin, New Zealand. The Dundee statue was unveiled only two weeks after the one in New York in 1880 and the third cast was erected in the Thames Embankment Gardens in London in 1884. The Dunedin statue was unveiled in 1887.
  • Bronze sculpture of William Shakespeare, on a stone pedestal, located to the south of the mall, southeast of Sheep's Meadow; this sculpture was erected with funds raised from a benefit performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar on November 25, 1864, at The Winter Garden Theatre, in a performance by Edwin Booth, Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. and their younger brother, John Wilkes Booth. John Quincy Adams Ward sculpted the work. Ward was arguably the dean of American sculpture at the time, and he is the source of more public sculpture in NYC than any other artist. This is the artist's second of four works in Central Park.
  • The statue of Dr James Marion Sims by Thomas Ball was cast in Munich. It is located near Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street.
  • The bronze bust of naturalist Alexander von Humboldt by Gustav Blaeser (1813–1874) has stood since 1981 on a granite pedestal at Naturalists' Gate, 77th Street and Central Park West, opposite the corner of the American Museum of Natural History. The monument, donated by an ad-hoc association of German-Americans, the Humboldt Memorial Association, was dedicated at its original location at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue on September 14, 1869. Blaeser, who knew Humboldt, was said to have worked in part from Humboldt's death mask. The bronze was cast by Georg Ferdinand Howaldt, Braunschweig.
  • The bronze standing figure of Daniel Webster by Thomas Ball stands on a high granite plinth at the confluence of two carriage drives near the foot of Strawberry Fields Memorial, at approximately 72nd Street. Ball had circulated many examples of statuettes of this model. The over-lifesize bronze, cast in Munich, was presented by Gordon W. Burnham in 1876. The plinth bears as a bronze legend Webster's famous phrases .

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