Saturday, December 23, 2017

Famous Fictional Figure: Mother Goose - Central Park, NY, NY

Mother Goose
Central Park

N 40° 46.345 W 073° 58.170

Short Description: 

A sculpture depicting Mother Goose in the nursery rhyme Old Mother Goose. It is augmented with Mother Goose characters. The sculpture is located in at the entrance to the Rumsey Playfield, in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

A 60" by 42" by 63" granite sculpture of Mother Goose on a 38" by 54" by 72" granite base in depicts Mother Goose riding on a gander. It is a depiction of the nursery rhyme:

Old Mother Goose, when
She wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.

Mother Goose had a house,
'T was built in a wood,
Where an owl at the door
For sentinel stood.

She had a son Jack,
A plain-looking lad;
He was not very good,
Nor yet very bad.

She sent him to market,
A live goose he bought:
"Here! mother," says he,
"It will not go for nought."

Jack's goose and her gander
Grew very fond;
They'd both eat together,
Or swim in one pond.

Jack found one morning,
As I have been told,
His goose had laid him
An egg of pure gold.

Jack rode to his mother,
The news for to tell.
She called him a good boy,
And said it was well.

Mother Goose is wearing a pointed hat and a long flowing cape. She is riding side-saddle on a gander and is surrounded by bas-reliefs sculptures the of nursery rhyme characters Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Little Jack Horner, Mother Hubbard, and Mary and her little lamb. The sculpture was created Frederick George Richard Roth and a team of carvers. It was installed in Central Park in 1938.

Mother Goose is both a nursery rhyme character and the name given to the Colonial American compiler of traditional children's rhymes. Traditionally, Mother Goose is said to be Mary Goose who lived in Boston and died in 1690.

Statue of Historical Figure: William Shakespeare - Central Park, NY, NY

William Shakespeare
Central Park

N 40° 46.190 W 073° 58.344

Short Description: 

A monument honoring English poet and playwright, William Shakespeare is locate at the south end of The Mall in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

An 8' by 3' by 2' bronze statue of William Shakespeare stands on an 8' high by 8' square granite base. The statue was created by John Quincy Adams Ward and the base was created by Henry Parry. The monument was erected April 23, 1864 to honor the 300th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare who was baptised on April 26, 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England.

Shakespeare is depicted wearing Elizabethan period clothing consisting of short slashed pants and a cloak. He his holding a book in his right hand.

The back of the base is inscribed:

APRIL 23 1864

William Shakespeare is probably the most famous English writer. In 1609 he published 154 sonnets in a single volume called Sonnets. Throughout his life he wrote some of the most famous plays ever performed. He wrote the following comedies, historical plays, and tragedies:

All's Well That Ends Well 
As You Like It 
The Comedy of Errors 
Love's Labours Lost 
Measure for Measure 
The Merry Wives of Windsor 
The Merchant of Venice 
A Midsummer Night's Dream 
Much Ado About Nothing 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre 
Taming of the Shrew 
The Tempest 
Troilus and Cressida 
Twelfth Night 
Two Gentlemen of Verona 
Winter's Tale

Historical Plays :
Henry IV, part 1 
Henry IV, part 2 
Henry V 
Henry VI, part 1 
Henry VI, part 2 
Henry VI, part 3 
Henry VIII 
King John 
Richard II 
Richard III

Antony and Cleopatra 
Julius Caesar 
King Lear 
Romeo and Juliet 
Timon of Athens 
Titus Andronicus

Among his sonnets are:
The Sonnets 
A Lover's Complaint 
The Rape of Lucrece 
Venus and Adonis 
Funeral Elegy by W.S.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Statue of Historic Figure: Sir Walter Scott - Central Park, NY, NY

Sir Walter Scott
Central Park

N 40° 46.210 W 073° 58.344

Short Description:

 A monument honoring Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist Sir Walter Scott is located behind a 3' high iron fence on the south end of The Mall, known as Literary Walk, in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

A 9' by 5.5' by 7' bronze statue of Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist Sir Walter Scott is set on an 8' by 13.5' by 15.5' granite base. Scott is depicted seated on a rock. Scott is seated on a rock. Scott is wearing a jacket and is wrapped in a long cape that reaches his ankles. He is holding a book and a pen with both hands. The book is resting on his left leg. His dog is sitting to his right side.

The statue was created by Sir John Steell and dedicated in Central park on November 2, 1872. The front of the base is inscribed WALTER SCOTT.

Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on August 15, 1771. He studied law at Edinburgh University. At age 25, while practicing law, he began writing poetry. He achieved recognition as a poet with the publication of the poem, "The Lay of the Minstrel", in 1805. One of his most popular poems "Lady of the Lake" was published in 1810.

Sir Walter Scott is considered to be the creator of the modern historical novel. He wrote the tale of the 1745 Jacobite rising in the Waverley Novels, which was first published anonymously in 1814. His most famous novels include Rob Roy (1817) and Ivanhoe (1820). Scott was also a playwright - MacDuff's Cross (1823) and non-fiction writer The Journal of Sir Walter Scott (1825–1832).

Sir Walter Scott died of typhus on September 21, 1832 and is interred in Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Statue of Historic Figure: Robert Burns - Central Park, NY, NY

Robert Burns
Central Park

N 40° 46.211 W 073° 58.351

Short Description: 

A monument honoring Scotland's national poet and lyricist Robert Burns is located in Central Park, behind a 3' high iron fence, at the southern end of The Mall in an area known as the the Literary Walk.

Long Description:

A 9.5' by 5.5' by 6.5' bronze statue of Robert Burns depicts the poet seated on a 6.5' by 8.5' by 9.75' red granite base. Robert Burns is seated on a tree stump while looking up over his right shoulder. He is wearing an ascot wrapped around his neck, a long cape over his shoulders that drapes over his right thigh, and knee length booth. In his right hand he holds a quill. His left hand is draped over a side stump.

The sculpture was created by Sir John John Steell and was dedicated on October 2, 1880. The front of the base is inscribed in gold letters ROBERT BURNS

The poet and lyricist Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759 in Alloway, Scotland. He was mostly home schooled and wrote his first poem when he was fifteen years old. He published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The book became an instant success and he became known as the great peasant poet. His interest in preserving the Scottish heritage inspired Burns to spend the last twelve years of his life collecting, editing and creating traditional folk songs for the publication Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs featuring such well known standards as "Auld Lang Syne" and "My Love is Like a Red Red Rose".

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Statue of Historic Figure: Fitz-Greene Halleck - Central Park, NY, NY

Fitz-Greene Halleck
Central Park

N 40° 46.238 W 073° 58.332

Short Description: 

A monument honoring American poet and essayist Fitz-Greene Halleck is located behind a 3' high iron fence on the south end of The Mall, known as Literary Walk, in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

A 7.25' by 1.5' by 5.5' bronze statue of poet and essayist Fitz-Green Halleck is set on a 6' by 5.5' by 6.5' granite base. Halleck is seated on an elaborate footed chair under which is a pile of books. He has his left leg crossed over his right leg. His right arm is handing over the chair and he is holding a pen in his right hand. He is wearing a suit and vest. An ascot is wrapped around his neck. A cloak is draped over the back of the chair and sprawls on the floor on both sides of the chair.

The monument was created by James Wilson Alexander MacDonald in 1876 and dedicated on May 15, 1877. The front of the base is inscribed FITZ GREENE HALLECK

Fitz-Greene Halleck was born in Guilford, CT on July 8, 1790. He attended Academy on Guilford Green before leaving school at age 15 to work in the family store. He moved to New York City in May 1811 and found employment working in a bank.

He, along with Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, William Cullen Bryant, and others were part of the The Knickerbocker Group. Writers who were American literary pioneers. In 1819 he and his friend Joseph Rodman Drake published the Croaker Papers, a series of 35 satirical poems about New York society. The same year, Halleck wrote his long poem Fanny, a satire on the literature, fashions, and politics of the time.

Other works by Fitz-Greene Halleck include: Alnwick Castle, with Other Poems (1827), Specimens of American Poetry (1829) and American Common-Place Book of Poetry (1831). Halleck also edited The works of Lord Byron, in verse and prose, including letters, journals, etc: with a sketch of his life (1833) and Selections from the British Poets (1840).

Fitz-Greene Halleck died on November 19, 1867 andis buried at Alderbrook Cemetery in Guilford, CT.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Figurative Sculpture: Eagles and Prey - Central ParK, NY, NY

Eagles and Prey
Central Park

N 40° 46.351 W 073° 58.350

Short Description: 

The Eagles and Prey sculpture is located in the northern part of The Mall in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

Eagles and Prey is a 6' by 6' by 3.5' bronze sculpture set on a 6.75' by 6.5' square granite base. The sculpture depicts a pair of eagles with outspread wings attacking a goat that is trapped between rocks. The sculpture was created by Christophe Fratin and was cast in 1850. It was given to New York City by Gordon Webster Burnham and installed in Central Park in 1863.

The base of the statue is inscribed:


The Eagles and Prey sculpture is the oldest known sculpture in any New York City park. It depicts the violent nature of the natural world. Initially it was thought to be inconsistent with the calm natural beauty of Central Park but it is acclaimed for it's incredible attention to detail. The sculpture has a rich surface texture and accurate anatomical detail.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Statue of Historic Figure: Victor Herbert - Central Park, NY, NY

Victor Herbert
Central Park

N 40° 46.368 W 073° 58.328

Short Description: 

A bronze bust of Irish-American cellist, composer, and conductor, Victor Herbert is located in the upper part of The Mall in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

A life size bronze bust of Victor Herbert is set on an 8.5' high by 4.75' by 4.25' rectangular granite base. The bust depicts the bare shoulders and upper chest of Herbert. He has short hair and a small mustache. He is looking towards his left. The monument was created by Edmond Thomas Quinn and dedicated November 29, 1927.

The base is decorated with a bronze wreath and is inscribed:


Victor Herbert was born to Irish-Protestant parents in Dublin, Ireland on February 1, 1859. His received his musical training in Germany, where he studied cello and composition at the Stuttgart Conservatory. In 1886 he and his wife Therese moved to New York City, where she sang with the Metropolitan Opera Company and played as first cellist.

In the early 1890s, Herbert was the bandmaster of the 22nd Regiment Band of the New York National Guard. From 1898 to 1904, Herbert conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, and was a guest conductor for the New York Philharmonic Society.

Herbert is most famous as a prolific composer of operettas and popular music. He wrote more than 40 operettas, the most famous ow which are Babes in Toyland (1903) and Naughty Marietta (1910). He also wrote two grand operas, and the first original symphonic score for a feature-length film, Fall of A Nation (1916) .

Due to Herbert’s classical training he composed songs greater musical complexity. He was an important champion of the cause of copyright protection and was instrumental in the founding of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1914. He died in New York City on May 26, 1924.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Statue of an Historical Figure: Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller - Central Park, NY, NY

Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller
Central Park

N 40° 46.390 W 073° 58.303

Short Description: 

A monument honoring German poet, historian, and playwright Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller is located in the upper part of The Mall in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

A 4' by 8" by 6.5" bronze bust of Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller is set on a 12.5' by 7.25' by 3' pink granite base. Schiller is depicted from the bare upper chest and shoulders. He has long wavy hair that extends down to his shoulders and is looking straight ahead with piercing eyes.

The sculpture was created by C.L. Richter and installed and dedicated in Central Park on Dedicated Nov. 9, 1859. The front of the base is inscribed:



Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller was born in Marbach am Neckar, Württemberg, Germany on November 10, 1759. He attended He entered the Karlsschule Stuttgart military academy in 1773 where he studied medicine. While at school he was influenced by the writings of Rousseau and Goethe.

In 1781 he published his first play The Robbers (Die Räuber). Other plays by Schiller include:

Fiesco (Die Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua)
Intrigue and Love (Kabale und Liebe) 
Don Carlos
The Wallenstein trilogy: Wallenstein's Camp, The Piccolomini, and Wallenstein's Death 
Mary Stuart (Maria Stuart) 
The Maid of Orleans (Die Jungfrau von Orleans)
The Bride of Messina (Die Braut von Messina)
William Tell (Wilhelm Tell)

Schiller is regarded as the "poet of the people". His dedication to human rights prompted the French to make him a citizen in 1792. His most famous poem An die Freude (Ode to Joy) became the basis for the 4th movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony. Other poems include:

Der Taucher (The Diver)
Die Kraniche des Ibykus (The Cranes of Ibykus)
Der Ring des Polykrates (Polycrates' Ring)
Die Bürgschaft (The Hostage)
Das Lied von der Glocke (Song of the Bell)
Das verschleierte Bild zu Sais (The Veiled Statue at Sais)
Der Handschuh (The Glove)

Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller died in Weimar, Germany on May 9, 1805 at age 45.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Statue of Historical Figure: Ludwig van Beethoven - Central Park, NY, NY

Ludwig van Beethoven
Central Park

N 40° 46.373 W 073° 58.316

Short Description: 

A monument honoring German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven is located in the upper part of The Mall in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

A 50" by 30" by 18" bronze bust of Ludwig van Beethoven is set on top of an 11.33' by 7.8' square granite base. Strangely, the monument is located directly in front of a large tree which obscures it from direct view. Fortunately the bust depicts Beethoven looking towards his left shoulder so the bust is in excellent view. The front of the base has an 5.5' bronze allegorical female figure, representing the muse of music, dressed in classical robes and holds the lyre by her left side with her left hand. Above her is the inscription BEETHOVEN.

The bust was created by Henry Baerer and dedicated July 22, 1884. The back of the base is inscribed:

JULY 22ND 1884 

Beethoven is depicted from the mid chest and shoulders. He has his characteristic mane of wavy hair and is wearing a jacket, has an ascot around his neck and a cape draped over his right shoulder.

Beethoven is one of the most important and influential composers of all time. he was born in Bonn, Germany and baptised on December 17, 1770. He was taught musical composition by the Court Organist Christian Gottlob Neefe and became his assistant organist and a proficient pianist. His first three piano sonatas were published in 1783 at age 12. He made his public piano debut in 1800. Soon thereafter became progressively deaf but this disability did not undermine Beethoven’s as a composer. In addition to piano sonatas he composed chamber music.

Beethoven is best known for his symphonies. He wrote nine symphonies and seven numbered piano concertos but his Third "Eroica", Fifth, and Ninth "Choral" Symphonies are particularly famous. His musical catalog includes over 200 works including a single opera Fidelio and many choral works and songs. His music marks the beginning of the Romantic era in music.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Epic Being: Angel of the Waters at the Bethesda Terrace - Central Park, NY, NY

Angel of the Waters
Central Park

N 40° 46.450 W 073° 58.254

Short Description: 

The Angel of the Waters is the central figure of the Bethesda Fountain which is located in the Bethesda Terrace at in the middle of Central Park on the southeast shore of The Lake opposite at 72nd Street.

Long Description:

In the center of the Bethesda Terrace is a famous fountain featuring the Angel of the Waters. The angel is referred to in the Gospel of John 5:4 describing the events at the Pool of Bethesda:

"For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."

The Angel of the Waters is set on top of the central shaft of a two-tiered fountain. The neoclassical winged figure has her wings outspread as as she walks forward stirring the waters of Pool of Bethesda. In her right hand she is holding a lily, symbolizing purity, Four cherub figures at the base represent temperance, purity, health, and peace. The 8' high bronze sculpture was created by Emma Stebbins in 1868 and dedicated on May 31, 1873. It was unveiled in 1873.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Figurative Sculpture: The Falconer - Central Park, NY, NY

The Falconer
Central Park

N 40° 46.452 W 073° 58.423

Short Description: 

The Falconer is located on top of  a rock outcrop south of the 72nd Street transverse road on West Drive, Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

The Falconer is a 12' by 2.5' by 4' bronze sculpture set on a installed on a cylindrical granite base. It depicts a young man dressed in Elizabethan garb with a feathered cap and a shirt underneath an ornate thigh-length tunic which is tied around his waist. A sheathed dagger hangs from his belt. His left arm is raised and falcon with outspread wings is perched on his left hand.

The sculpture was created by George Simonds and cast at the Clemente Papi foundry in 1871. It was dedicated in Central Park on May 31, 1875. The front of the base is inscribed:



Famous Fictional Figures: Prospero and Miranda, Central Park, NY, NY

Prospero and Miranda
Central Park

N 40° 46.842 W 073° 58.126

Short Description: 

A sculpture depicting two characters from Shakespeare's Tempest, Prospero and Miranda, is located outside the Delacorte Theatre, opposite W 81st Street in Central Park, New York City.

Long Description:

The sculpture titled The Tempest depicts the main characters of Shakespeare's tragicomedy - Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan and his daughter Miranda.

In this larger than life, somewhat abstract, bronze sculpture the magician Prospero is standing to the right of his daughter Miranda. He is sheltering Miranda under his left arm while casts a spell conjuring up a tempest with his right hand. The details of the sculpture are created in a rough cast, suggestive style. Milton Hebald created the sculpture which was installed in front of Central Park's Delacorte Theatre in 1973. The sculpture rests on a rectangular granite base that is inscribed:


Prospero is a sorcerer and the rightful Duke of Milan,, He together with his daughter Miranda have been deposed and exiled for twelve years on an island by Prospero's jealous brother Antonio.

The play takes it's title from the action of Prospero that, divining that his brother Antonio is on a nearby ship, raises a tempest that causes the passengers to believe they are shipwrecked and marooned.

Prospero has been played by Sir Michael Redgrave and most recently by Patrick Stewart. Miranda has most recently been played by Felicity Jones

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Famous Fictional Figures: Romeo and Juliet - Central Park, NY, NY

Romeo and Juliet 
Central Park

N 40° 46.827 W 073° 58.126

Short Description: 

A sculpture of Romeo and Juliet is located outside the entrance to the Delacorte Theatre which is located in the middle of Central Park, opposite 81st Street, in New York City.

Long Description:

A larger than life size bronze sculpture of the protagonist of Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, depicts the world's most famous doomed lovers standing on a pink granite base while embracing each other. Romeo's head is leaning forward as he is looking into Juliet's eyes. He has his right hand on her left hip and his left hand on her back. Juliet's head is tilted back with her long hair is draped behind her. She has her left hand on the back of Romeo's head and her right hand on his waist.

Romeo is wearing a tunic tied around his waist with a belt, trousers and slip on shoes. Juliet bare footed. She is bare from the waist up, otherwise, she is wearing a sheer garment that reaches her calves before sweeping to the floor between Romeo's legs.

The sculpture was created by Milton Hebald, cast at the Spartaco Dionesi Foundry, and installed in front of the Delacorte Theatre in 1977. The front of the base is inscribed:



The Montagues and Capulets are feuding families, whose children Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love. They must carry out their relationship in secret because their parents will not allow them to be together. The result is tragic.

The most recent stars that have portrayed Romeo and Juliet were Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes.

The Delacorte Theatre is the home of free Shakespeare in the Park productions.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Roadside Attraction: Balto and the Team of Sled Dogs - Central Park, NY, NY

Balto and 
The Team of Sled Dogs
Central Park

N 40° 46.199 W 073° 58.260

Short Description: 

A monument featuring a bronze statue of lead dog Balto and a plaque honoring the sled dog team that brought life saving medication to Nome, Alaska is located in Central Park, NY.

Long Description:

In the winter of 1925, Nome, Alaska was stricken by a diphtheria epidemic. To rescue the residents of Nome, Gunnar Kaasen's sled dog team with lead dog Balto was sent from Nenana to Nome, Alaska with life saving diphtheria antitoxin. To honor the heroic effort of the sled dogs a statue of Balto and an accompanying plaque was erected in Central Park.

A 4' by 2' by 1.5' bronze statue of Balto stand on a 1.5' high bronze plinth that matches the rock outcrop on which the statue is set. Balto's stands on spread apart legs. A sled rope is hanging from his back and his tongue is sticking out of his mouth as if he is panting. The front of the plinth is inscribed BALTO.

The bronze plaque on the face of the rock outcrop has the image of the sled team and is inscribed: