Hans Christian Andersen Statue
The Hans Christian Andersen Statue has been around since 1955 as a story time area for children featuring guest readers. Andersen is well known for his fairy tales such as "The Ugly Duckling", "Thumbelina", "The Princess and the Pea" and many others. He also wrote, "The Little Mermaid" that became a Disney movie in 1989. The statue was dedicated on September 18, 1956, by the Danish American Women’s Association. Many children from Danish and American backgrounds helped to raise funds to build the Hans Christian Andersen Statue. They raised about 75,000 dollars.
Backstory and Context
The Hans Christian Andersen Statue was an idea from a Denmark native by the Baroness Alma Dahlerup. She later became the president of the Danish-American Woman’s Association of New York. Before the statue was built, the Baroness had worked on getting Andersen’s fairytales read over the radio. Over the years, they worked on finding a place for readings to occur for all ages. They were able to find the perfect site with the help of the New York City Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses. The City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy were all on board with this idea and gave their one hundred percent approval.
With the help of both Denmark and American school students, the project was able to make way by their many donations. The children raised about 75,000 dollars. By 1954, the sculptor by the name of George Lober, who was also Danish-American was commissioned to start the Hans Christian Andersen Statue. By 1955, the statue was reveled on the authors 150th birthday. The statue is still an attraction that is widely used today. Many guest readers come and read to all ages of Andersen’s fairytales.
As time passed, the statue not only became a place for children, it also became a symbol of good relations between both Denmark and the United States. The royal family of Demark still visit the Andersen Statue as a tradition that was started by Queen Margrethe II parents. Which Queen Margrethe II visited in 1976.
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805. He grew up in a poor family and dreamed of becoming rich at a young age. His father died when he was just a mere boy of 11 years old. A few years later, at age 14, he left home for good. Andersen decided to try his luck in Copenhagen, Denmark. He lived in the poor part of town and got jobs such as an actor, a singer, and a dancer, but these jobs did not have any success for him. At seventeen, Andersen was able to go back to school. It took him seven years to complete school and as his victory, he wrote his first narrative in 1828. This was a major success for him as a writer and his life was just beginning as a writer.
By the time of his death in 1874, not only was Andersen a well-known writer but he had written over a hundred and fifty stories. Some of his most popular stories and fairytales include The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, The Nightingale, The Red Shoes, The Match Girl, Thumbelina, and The Little Mermaid.
The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center. The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center. Accessed December 01, 2017. http://www.hcastorycenter.org/.
Hans Christian Andersen. Encyclopedia Britannica. October 06, 2017. Accessed December 01, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hans-Christian-Andersen-Danish-author.