Posts Tagged ‘animaliers’

The panther on the hunt in Central Park

January 28, 2013

Joggers and cyclists hurtling up East Drive near the Ramble are always mistaking this sculpture for the real thing.

Centralparkpanther

Perched on top of a steep hill at about 76th Street and looking like he’s ready to pounce, it’s a ferocious panther in bronze, officially titled “Still Hunt.” Here’s the park from the panther’s point of view.

PanthercentralparkcloseCreated in 1883 by Georgia-born sculptor Edward Kemeys, it’s one of the few sculptures in Central Park meant to look natural and blend in—which is why it has no plaque and makes passersby do a double take.

Kemeys, who helped build Central Park and was inspired by the real-life animals at the Central Park Zoo (then called the Menagerie) was an animalier, and his jaguars, lions, and other creatures are on display in cities across the country.

The Central Park panther isn’t Kemeys’ only panther in New York City. His “Panther and Cubs” bronze sculpture belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, about six blocks north.

A heroic and heart-tugging statue in Central Park

December 12, 2011

City parks are filled with animal sculptures—some quite brutal and realistic, reminding genteel urbanites of the power and grandeur of nature.

But one statue pays homage to a specific brave creature: Balto the Siberian husky.

In 1925, Balto led a team of dogs through 600 miles of blinding blizzard to deliver diphtheria medicine to kids in isolated Nome, Alaska.

He was arguably the most popular dog in the country after his story hit the news, prompting some New Yorkers to raise funds to have him immortalized in bronze.

The real Balto even came to the city for his statue’s unveiling just 10 months later:

The parks commissioner said of Balto’s statue, “it was a most unique occasion in having a real ‘hero’ present at the dedication of a monument in his honor, as most heroes have to wait until they are dead to be so honored,” reported The New York Times.

“‘But we are glad,’ he added, ‘to reward loyalty and courage, even in a dog.'”

While Balto’s statue is one of the most popular in the park, the real Balto had a few rough years, sold to the vaudeville circuit before he was rescued by the Cleveland Zoo, where he lived out the rest of his life.

[Top photo: Centralpark2000.com]


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