Fitz Greene Halleck statue in Central Park


This bronze portrait sculpture depicts poet and essayist Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790-1867). Sculpted by James Wilson Alexander MacDonald (1824-1908), the statue was dedicated in 1877, and is one of four sculptures in the vicinity that depict literary figures. The others are Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, and William Shakespeare, all of which grace the southern end of Central Park's Mall, alternately known as Literary Walk. The statue was dedicated on May 15, 1877. The ceremony was attended by President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893), as well as his entire cabinet. The throng of spectators, estimated at 10,000, was so great on that day, and the damage to the surrounding turf so widespread, that park officials were said to have subsequently outlawed assemblies of such great size. Over the years the sculpture has been conserved on three occasions, in 1936, 1983, and 1999. Though time may have obscured the details of this expressive bronze portrait, and its subject's literary reputation has diminished, the statue remains a tangible reminder of an earlier era in the cultural landscape of New York.

Installed, 1876
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