Saturday 21 April 2012: The Falconer
This is "The falconer," a bronze statue looming high over a transverse road in Central Park in New York City, close to West 72nd Street. It is mounted on a natural outcropping of rocks. It was created by George Blackall Simonds (1844-1929) and installed here in 1875.
The city's web page about the statue tells of its long fight for survival:
"Since its installation, The Falconer has suffered extensive damage from weathering and vandals. The monument was in danger of toppling in 1937 until it was shored up and repatined by Parks. In 1957, a new bronze falcon was fashioned and reattached. Further vandalism later compelled the City to remove the sculpture to storage for safekeeping, and in 1982, a new arm and falcon were modeled, cast, and reattached, and the statue reset in Central Park. In 1995, the Central Park Conservancy conserved and repatined the statue, and today the sculpture embodies the rich sculptural collection Central Park inherited in the 19th century, as well as the abundant bird species, including peregrine falcons and red-tailed hawks, which populate the park."
I clearly remember the statue from my much-loved visits to the park as a much younger person, but I've never been any closer to it than this. When you look at it, it's perhaps fifty feet above you. When I took this picture I was in a big rush to include the passenger jet --can you see it?