Posts Tagged ‘animal sculptures New York City’

The foxes of a Fur District building entrance

July 1, 2013

The early 20th century loft buildings that crowd the streets of the Garment District feature some nifty surprises—like these two magnificent fox statues, which guard the entrance of 242 West 30th Street.

Foxes30thstreetentrance

They must be a remnant of the heyday of the Fur District, once a thriving part of the Garment District now populated by a fraction of the manufacturers who once had factories and showrooms in the upper West 20s and lower West 30s.

Fox30thstreetentrancecloseupNewspaper archives show that fur manufacturers did occupy the building. But it’s unclear which company commissioned the statues, stately homages to the animals whose furs brought the company fortune.

This Fur District building has another interesting entrance: two grotesques handling a couple of furry creatures destined to become coats in some rich person’s closet!

The secret wild boar of a Sutton Place park

January 2, 2013

There’s a sweet little vest-pocket park tucked off Sutton Place at the end of East 57th Street.

Besides the quiet East River view, the park has another magnificent, little-known feature: a statue of a wild boar, cast in bronze, sitting on a granite pedestal along with snakes, crabs, salamanders, and other creatures.

Suttonplacewildboar

If the boar looks familiar, you may have seen it in Italy. There, Renaissance sculptor Pietro Tacca’s bronze Porcellino (“piglet”) decorates a fountain in Florence.

SuttonplaceboarbaseTacca based his much-loved boar (below), whose snout is rubbed for good luck, on an ancient Greek marble original discovered in Rome in the 16th century.

IlporcelinowikiThe Sutton Place boar is a copy of that replica, installed in 1972 by a neighborhood philanthropist who also donated the bronze Peter Pan statue to Carl Schurz Park, about 30 blocks north along the East River.

This wild boar is a powerful piece of animal art, one of many across the city.

Of course, it’s not exactly a cuddly sculpture for kids—especially on the base, where there’s a bronze snake munching on a mouse!


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