William Shakespeare


 

William Shakespeare was the first sculpture of a writer to be placed on the Mall, known informally as Literary Walk. It is fitting that two famous nineteenth-century actors, James Morrison Steele MacKay and Edwin Booth, were involved with the sculptor to create this monument to the world-renowned dramatist. Edwin Booth, America's most famous Shakespearean actor, laid the cornerstone and advised Ward on the appropriate costume for a gentleman in Elizabethan England. MacKay, a good friend of Ward, was the model and suggested the pensive pose. The sculpture was donated by the citizens of New York, led by a committee to honor the 300th anniversary of the birth of the poet and dramatist in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. Shakespeare is one of four sculptures by Ward in Central Park; the others are the Pilgrim at East 73rd Street near the north drive, Seventh Regiment at the West Drive at 67th Street, and Indian Hunter.

Location

South end of the Mall/Literary Walk, at East 66th Street.

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Details

Sculptor: John Quincy Adams Ward (1830-1910)
Architect: Jacob Wrey Mould, pedestal
Date: 1870
Placed in Park: 1872
Material: Bronze on granite pedestal
Donor: Shakespeare Tricentennial Committee