There are six historical statues in Bryant Park, which has become one of the best places to spend a summer afternoon in the city.
Start at the coffee shop stand at the corner of 42nd and Sixth Avenue and, moving clockwise around the park, the monuments are:
- William Earle Dodge, on the 42nd Street side, about halfway between Sixth and the library. This statue of the copper magnate and philanthropist was made by John Quincy Adams Ward, one of the most famous American sculptors. Dodge was originally in Herald Square, but was moved to Bryant Park in 1941.
- William Cullen Bryant, in the middle of the west side of the library. Herbert Adams, a well-renowned New York sculptor, created this statue, which was dedicated in 1911. Bryant was a civic booster and one of America’s most popular poets.
- Gertrude Stein, a few steps to the south and west of the Bryant memorial. The sculptor Jo Davidson originally made the statue in 1920, but it was recast and dedicated in 1992, the first monument to an American woman to be installed in New York City.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, pictured above, on the south side of the park, just to the east of the carousel. The German sculptor Karl Fischer created this Pez-dispenser-esque monument in 1832, the year Goethe died. According to the Bryant Park Corporation, the Goethe Club of New York bought the statue in 1876 and gave it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which offered it in turn for placement in Bryant Park in 1932.
- Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva, at the corner of 40th and Sixth. The statue was a gift from the people of Brazil and was dedicated in 1955, when Sixth Avenue was renamed the Avenue of the Americas in a fit of pan-American whatever. The imposing figure was made by Jose Otavia Correia Lima.
- Benito Juarez, at the corner of 42nd and Sixth. This was a gift of the people of Oaxaca, Mexico, and was made by Moises Cabrera.