The Falconer was donated to Central Park by the Irish-American businessman George Kemp in 1875. He saw the artwork while traveling in Europe and commissioned the artist, English sculptor George Blackall Simonds, to create a larger-scale version for the Park.
This is one of several artworks in the Park that depict scenes of animals and people hunting. Nearby, at the southwestern edge of the Mall, is Indian Hunter, a sculpture of a Native American man hunting with his dog. Three others, Tigress and Cubs, Still Hunt, and Eagles and Prey show animals stalking, attacking, and feeding prey to their young. Although the Park’s original designers did not envision monuments and sculpture as part of the Park, as they were added over time, this type of subject matter was seen as more fitting to its purpose as a rural retreat.