Posts Tagged ‘Central Park Sculpture’

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.

The animaliers who brought nature to the city

February 1, 2010

This sculpture—a brutal depiction of a goat being carried away in the talons of two strong eagles—is the work of an animalier: a sculptor of animals.

Bronzes like these were popular in the second half of the 19th century, and they’re all over New York parks and zoos.

“The naturalistic and sometimes fierce imagery or this type of sculpture is meant to evoke the strength of nature, expanding on 18th century Romanticism,” the New York City Parks Department website explains.

 “Eagles and Prey,” by Christophe Fratin, has another distinction: it’s the oldest sculpture in any city park, cast in Paris in 1850.

Not all the animalier statues were so harsh though; later works were much gentler—such as Lioness and Cubs, by Victor Peter, cast in 1899 and on display at the Prospect Park Zoo. 


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