Alice in Wonderland
Located just north of the Conservatory Water at East 74th Street, Alice in Wonderland stands eleven feet tall in bronze, surrounded by the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and a few of her other friends.
The sculpture was constructed in 1959 by José de Creeft under the commission of philanthropist George Delacorte so that children could visit and experience the wonder of Lewis Carroll’s classic story. Atypical of most sculptures, children are invited to climb, touch and crawl all over Alice and her friends. In fact, through the decades thousands of hands and feet have literally polished parts of the statue’s surface smooth.
The design for the bronze sculpture was patterned off the original illustrations of John Tenniel that were used in the first published edition of the book. The obvious centerpiece of the work, Alice, who depicts the face of Creeft’s daughter, Donna, is pictured sitting on a giant mushroom reaching toward a pocket watch held by the White Rabbit. Peering over her shoulder is the Cheshire Cat, surrounded by the Dormouse, Alice's cat Dinah, and the Mad Hatter -- a caricature of George Delacorte.
The sculptor also included an inscription in a granite circle surrounding the work: a line from “The Jabberwocky,” also by Lewis Carroll: “'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.”