Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen

In a small area of parkland surrounded by the entrance and exit to the 96th Street transverse road is the monument to Danish artist Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844). Wearing a robe, Thorvaldsen holds the tools of his trade and leans on a replica of his own sculpture, Hope.

The monument was commissioned by Danish-Americans and dedicated in 1894. Danish immigration to America was at a highpoint at this time, and like other immigrant groups, Danes sought to see their cultural icons represented in the City’s public spaces. The monument is a cast bronze copy of a marble sculpture in Copenhagen, a self-portrait created by Thorvaldsen in 1839.

The monument has been moved three times. It was first located on 59th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, then moved to 97th Street near Fifth Avenue, and finally in 1940 to the triangular knoll between the transverse roads where it exists today.

Danish-Americans donated another monument to the Park that honors the children’s book author Hans Christian Andersen. There are two other monuments to visual artists in the Park, Samuel F.B. Morse and Richard Morris Hunt.

The full length of Thorvaldsen is seen against a backdrop of barren winter trees.

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