Christopher Columbus

  • Sculptor: Jeronimo Suñol
  • Pedestal: Napoleon Le Brun
  • Dedicated: 1894
  • Medium and size: Bronze (8 feet), granite pedestal (7.75 feet)
  • Location: Central Park, Literary Walk, north of the 65th Street Traverse
  • Subway: 6 to 59th Street or F to Lexington Avenue - 63rd Street

Columbus Central Park

The World’s Columbian Exposition

The Chicago exposition celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s first voyage is described in fascinating detail in Erik Larson’s Devil in the White CityAmong the many novelties on display at the Fair was the newly invented Ferris Wheel.

Ferris Wheel

Although the Exposition was temporary, its influence was long lasting. Descendants of the “White City” include the Emerald City in Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, the “alabaster cities” in “America the Beautiful,” and Walt Disney theme parks. And of course it inspired the City Beautiful movement, whose effects are still standing in New York: see Bryant. Shown in this episode to illustrate it are Alma Mater and Straus

Artists at the Columbian Exposition

Among the artists who contributed works to the Columbian Exposition and also created works still standing in New York City are:

New York Celebrates the 400th Anniversary of Columbus’s First Voyage

New Yorkers lost the competition to host the Columbian Exposition, but erected 2 monuments to Columbus in the 1890s: this one by Sunol and Russo’s Columbus Monument. Their celebration of the event in New York Harbor was a magnificent spectacle.

NY Harbor 1892

Cross References

  • Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan has a lengthy quote from Washington Irving on Columbus, more details on the pose of this figure and the Madrid version, and more on the Columbian Exposition.

Copyright (c) 2013 Dianne L. Durante