On Saturdays all summer long for more than 50 years, New York children have gathered around Hans Christian Andersen’s statue at the Conservatory Pond in Central Park to hear his tales told by a fine ensemble of storytellers. Celebrity performers such as Victor Borge, Eva la Gallienne, Fanny Hurst and Celeste Holm have also visited, telling their favorite stories.
Suitable for ages 6+ and is on rain or shine.
The idea for the statue originated with Baroness Alma Dahlerup, then president of the Danish-American Women’s Association of New York, who had for years arranged for Andersen’s stories to be read on the radio. Robert Moses, then New York City Parks Commissioner, secured the ‘perfect’ site and the City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy have given their active support ever since. A significant share of the funding for the statue came from donations made by school children both in Denmark and the United States. Danish-American sculptor George Lober created the larger-than-life bronze statue that was commisioned in 1954, in anticipation of marking the 150th anniversary of the author’s birth. Hans Christian Andersens’ well-rubbed knees are ample evidence of the fun children continue to have sitting on his lap.