As the weather gets warmer and New York begins to open up parks and other public spaces, many New Yorkers may find themselves strolling through Central Park, walking the Coney Island Boardwalk, or even walking down the middle of newly closed-off roads (with masks please!). Although many art museums will remain closed for the next few months, the city and the surrounding area is filled with public art installations and sculpture parks for both art enthusiasts and New Yorkers looking for a new place to walk around. Here is our guide to New York City’s sculpture parks.
1. Central Park
Although not officially a sculpture park, Central Park is home to over fifty sculptures, statues, and fountains, showcasing everything from an Egyptian obelisk to equestrian statues to memorials of famous musicians. Like many parks across the city, Central Park has a number of war memorials including the bronze 107th Infantry Memorial of World War I and the USS Maine National Monument at Columbus Circle.
Found throughout the park are a number of historical monuments dedicated to figures like Christopher Columbus, American politician Daniel Webster, King Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland, and Alexander Hamilton. There are a number of sculptures dedicated to revolutionary leaders like Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín, and Giuseppe Mazzini.
The park also contains memorials of famous authors on Literary Walk like Hans Christian Andersen, Robert Burns, and Sir Walter Scott, in addition to one of Cuban revolutionary poet José Martí. Musicians like Ludwig van Beethoven and Duke Ellington (which was the first New York City monument to an African-American artist) and scientists like Alexander von Humboldt are also found throughout the park.
Bethesda Fountain and The Angel of the Waters
The park also pays tribute to fictional characters like Alice in Wonderland and Mother Goose. A number of sculptures also depict animals, like Balto the Alaskan sled dog and Group of Bears depicting a bear standing on its hind legs while two other bears stand on both its sides. A dog also appears in Indian Hunter, the first sculpture by an American sculptor to be sited in Central Park in 1869. Other famous sculptures to check out include The Angel of the Waters in Bethesda Fountain, the Egyptian obelisk Cleopatra’s Needle, and a statue of Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York City Marathon.