Alice in Wonderland

One of the most popular artworks in Central Park is Alice in Wonderland. The large bronze sculpture is located in a terrace at the northern end of Conservatory Water. The figure of Alice and her kitten, Dinah, sit atop a giant mushroom, surrounded by her Wonderland friends: the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, Dormouse, and the White Rabbit.

Alice in Wonderland was a gift from the philanthropist and publisher George Delacorte. He intended the donation as a gift to the children of the City and a memorial for his recently deceased wife Margarita (1891–1956), an enthusiastic linguist and reader who helped him to establish his publishing empire. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was her favorite book to read to her children.

The Spanish-American sculptor José de Creeft used the illustrations from the original edition of the book, which was published in 1865, to create the characters. He modeled the face of Alice after his daughter Donna Maria and the Mad Hatter after George Delacorte. The terraced landscape surrounding the sculpture was designed by Hideo Sasaki & Associates and is one of the few examples of modern landscape architecture in Central Park.

At the dedication ceremony in May of 1959, 11 of the Delacortes’ grandchildren unveiled Alice. They then promptly climbed up on the statue, as children still do today.

George Delacorte donated two other popular features to Central Park: the Delacorte Clock next to the Central Park Zoo, and the Delacorte Theater, home to Shakespeare in the Park, a free summer theater program.

The sculpture seen from behind, in early spring.

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The Central Park Conservancy restores, preserves, and maintains historic structures like Alice in Wonderland. Funding for this crucial work comes from donors like you.

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