One of the most important pieces of art in the Park, the cast-bronze gates were created by renowned sculptor Paul Manship. The Conservancy refurbished the gates in 2009, and today they stand at the entrance of Ancient Playground at Fifth Avenue and 84th Street. With their fanciful depiction of five vignettes from Aesop's Fables, the Osborn Gates found a fitting new home at the entrance of Ancient Playground in 2009. The crowning piece of the newly restored playground, the gates' installation marked a feat in their own right: after sitting in storage for nearly 30 years, they were returned to their original glory by Conservancy technicians.
One of the most important pieces of artwork in the Park, the gates were created by renowned sculptor Paul Manship, who is most famous for the Prometheus at the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink. The Municipal Art Society declared them the year's most distinguished work of art in New York City upon their 1953 installation. The gates originally stood at what was then the Osborn Memorial Playground, named in honor of William Church Osborn, former president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They remained there until the playground closed in the early 1970s to make way for the museum's expansion of the Egyptian wing's Temple of Dendur. They were later moved to Ancient Playground, a new play space built across from the museum expansion to make up for the loss. Through the years, however, the gates suffered several rounds of vandalism were eventually placed into storage. The Conservancy's conservation team reaffixed the detached bronze sculptural elements, replaced missing pieces, repaired cracks and repatinated the bronze. Its original granite piers were also re-installed.
Entrance of Ancient Playground at Fifth Avenue and 85th Street.