You had to know I'd eventually feature this here, right?

click to embiggen photos

The Margarita Delacorte Memorial in Central Park (featured here and here) is something I'd been to see before, but it was fun to take The Dormouse there on her birthday trip.

This impressive sculptural group, on the north side of Central Park's Conservatory Water, is the work of the Spanish-born, French-trained sculptor Jose de Creeft (1900-1982). Publisher and philanthropist George Delacorte (1893-1991) commissioned the sculpture as a tribute to his late wife Margarita, and as a gift to the children of New York City. Dedicated by Robert Moses on May 7, 1959, the bronze statuary depicts characters from Lewis Carroll's whimsical Alice in Wonderland, published in 1862.

I'd long known this statue was donated by a philanthropist in honor of his wife, Margarita "who loved all children," which is sweet. I figured there was a good story behind this and I thoroughly searched through at least three pages of Google search results (sooo tired now!) to find something more about Margarita Delacorte to share here; the best I could learn was that she also has a scholarship in her name and she wazzzzzzzzzzzzzz. There just wasn't much out there about poor Margarita.

What I did learn that I didn't know before is that George Delacorte founded the Dell Publishing Company (no, it's not that Dell) which eventually brought forth Dell Comics, which was in turn responsible for Blondie and Dagwood, Dick Tracy and later the TV shows Mission: Impossible and Ben Casey. For a big ol' historic pop culture geek like myself, that was kind of cool.

George Delacorte is also the one to thank for this other iconic Central Park fixture, the Delacorte Musical Clock outside the Central Park Zoo:

When we walked past this, The Dormouse shouted, "MOMMA! It's the clock from Madagascar!"

I didn't even remember this being in Madagascar and let's not overlook the fact that it's probably been four-plus years since she's seen the movie, but another ten minutes of Googling (Googleing? Google-ing? You'd think that a language that can add jiggy to the dictionary could tell me how to spell the past progressive of Google --- wait, I was right) proved she was indeed spot on with her recollections:

Now if I could only get her to remember to pick up her socks.

Anyway, back to Alice.

My favorite picture I took that day was, inexplicably, one of the back of her head.

But I'm also a little bit in love with the creepiness of the Cheshire Cat.

For a Saturday in Central Park, it was pretty impressive to be able to get a picture without at least a thousand kids hanging off any given part of the piece, but there was a woman there trying to do just that and yelling at all the kids and their parents to move while she took a photo. Everyone ignored her like she was so much furniture. This exercise in futility amused me to no end and I stood there watching her for what seemed like hours. Finally she was successful in getting everyone off the statue for a few blessed seconds and I sneaked in and usurped the opportunity for a shot. I'm pretty sure she called me a name as I was leaving.

Live with it lady, this is New York.

The Caterpillar was represented mostly as an afterthought, but was there nonetheless.

And The Dormouse, who isn't a permanent part of the statue but was willing to sit there for a minute with her namesake.

See how I cleverly added that play on words? That's funny huh?