3. Central Park, Manhattan


On Saturday May 12th 1894, the Central Park statue of Christopher Columbus was dedicated. According to the dedication program, “no more beautiful day…could have been selected for the unveiling of Jeronimo Sunol’s bronze statue.”It is situated directly opposite John Quincy Adams Ward’s monument of Shakespeare on the Mall. The statues were said to be appropriate companions as they are “two great heirs of fame of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.” Dignitaries included the Vice-President, ambassadors, and even Julia Ward Howe who wrote a poem for the occasion. The statue contains “religious and imperialist imagery.” Next to Columbus is a globe mounted to a cable entwined capstan and he holds the Spanish flag with a cross on top in his right hand. His left arm is outstretched and eyes “looking upward to heaven in gratitude for his successful voyage.” Sunol based the statue on a previous one he designed in 1885 for the Plaza de Colon in Madrid.