Location: 72nd Street, mid-Park
Artist/Designer: George Blackall Simonds
Materials: Bronze, Barre granite
Funding: George Kemp
Central Park has several fanciful statues, and one of the most interesting is The Falconer. High on a rocky ledge, this statue depicts a young fifteenth-century man in Victorian garb, a falcon on his extended left arm, his right hand holding a tether to restrain it from flying away. The artist, a falconer himself, accessorized his subject with a feed pouch, gloved hand, sheathed knife, and feathered cap.
The donor, George Kemp, a wealthy New Yorker from Ireland, saw the statue at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1875. He commissioned the English sculptor Simonds to do a larger version, which he gifted to Central Park.
In 1957 vandals sawed off and stole the arm of The Falconer. Continued vandalism forced the Parks Department to put the statue in storage. The Central Park Conservancy fully restored the sculpture and returned it to the Park in 1982.
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