Location: 74th Street, east side
Artist/Designer: George Lober, sculptor; Otto F. Langmann, bench architect
Materials: Bronze, Stony Creek pink granite
Funding: Danish-American Women’s Association
For almost 60 years the Hans Christian Andersen statue next to Central Park’s Conservatory Water (also known as the model boat pond) has been the scene of storytelling in nice weather. How fitting! Andersen wrote more than 150 fairy tales for children, including “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Little Mermaid.” Whether or not it’s story time, children enjoy climbing onto Andersen’s lap to pose for pictures and take pleasure in petting the bronze duck at his feet.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Andersen’s birth, the Danish-American Women’s Association erected a statue of the great storyteller. The group sponsored a popular radio broadcast and managed to raise $75,000 through public subscription, with both Danish and American children collecting pennies. Then Parks Commissioner Robert Moses secured the location. The sculptor George Lober was of Danish-American heritage.
Hans Christian Andersen
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