The two dancing goats at the Central Park Zoo

At the entrance to the Children’s Zoo in Central Park is this enchanting sculpture of a dancing boy, two dancing goats, and some curious birds.

They’re on top of the Lehman Gates, donated by former governor Herbert H. Lehman and his wife when the Children’s Zoo opened in 1961.

“The music is provided by two other boys positioned over the end posts, playing panpipes,” states the website for the Central Park Conservatory.

“Between the human figures is a curlicue of vegetation interwoven with birds, which appear to have just alighted. The whole composition is a lovely commentary on the interaction between children and animals, fitting for the zoo entrance.”

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9 Responses to “The two dancing goats at the Central Park Zoo”

  1. Julian Stein Says:

    Just to clarify, Lehman was not “then-governor” in 1961, he was governor in the 1930’s and 40’s.

  2. ronfwnc Says:

    Nice piece, but one correction. Lehman was an ex-governor in 1961. His term ended in 1942, and he served in the US Senate after leaving the governorship. He died in 1963.

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks! I fixed it.

  4. Bobby Says:

    My son loves this. Before his first visit to New York, he loved the book A Visit to the Children’s Zoo. So he was excited to see the boy and the goats still there. He was sad to hear the whale had been relocated to Rockaway and wanted to go out there to see it, but we didn’t get there.

  5. Central Park’s hidden Alice in Wonderland statue « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] characters might look familiar: They were designed by the same sculptor whose animal depictions grace the Central Park […]

  6. mattucee Says:

    Manship also created the animals on and below the Delacorte Clock at the north gate to the zoo proper and the sculpture of Prometheus presiding over the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center.

  7. A bear and a goat dancing at the Central Park Zoo | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] two bronze miniatures flanking a frolicking boy sit on top of the Lehman Gates at the entrance to the Children’s Zoo, along with other bronze critters. […]

  8. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    I wish you would do a more on NY City’s ANIMAL SCULPTURE. There are supposed to be a series of hippo in Central Park that were sculpted by the St. Louis talent (the late-) Bob Cassilly. He also did the tallest statue in Texas – a breath-takingly magnificent giraffe at the entry to the Dallas Zoo. St. Louis is chockablock with his animals, birds, reptiles, butterflies and mystical creatures. He founded a museum that features his artworks along with treasures from demolished St. Louis buildings. As a young man on a personal art tour, he grabbed the madman who was trying to destroy The Pieta (in the Vatican), pulling him off the statue and pinning fellow to the floor till authorities arrived. I hope you can feature his huge hippo works at the zoo in Central Park.

  9. What happened to the big whale at the Central Park Children’s Zoo? | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Whale had been part of the Children’s Zoo since its 1961 opening, according to The New York Times. But this star zoo attraction got the boot in the […]

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