Henry Hudson Memorial ColumnLooking northwest at Doric column with Henry Hudson statue in Henry Hudson Park on a sunny midday.
The column of the Henry Hudson Memorial in Henry Hudson Park was created in 1909, but the bronze sculpture by Karl Bitter intended for the top of the column was never added. This was rectified in the 1930s. In 1937, the Department of Parks reported that:
“Park Commissioner Robert Moses, sole member of the Henry Hudson Parkway Authority, announces that the Authority will furnish the statue and he has retained Karl H. Gruppe, who for years was associated with Mr. Bitter, to undertake the reproduction of the original design. Fortunately, the sculptor’s widow, who resides at 209 East 72nd Street, has a photograph.”
It is probable that the sculpture was paid for by the Federal Arts Project of the WPA. As researcher Frank da Cruz explains here, all of Moses’ work at the time was carried out with New Deal support from funding agencies like the Public Works Administration (PWA) and relief agencies like the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Karl Gruppe, in particular, was “was closely involved in the conservation of New York’s public sculptures from 1934 to 1937, during which time, under the auspices of the New York City Department of Parks’ Monument Restoration Project and Public Works of Art Project [which later became the Federal Arts Project -Ed.], he chaired a committee of sculptors who oversaw the restoration of significant monuments and fountains throughout the city.” (Lowrey (2007), cited here).
https://kermitproject.org/newdeal/riversidepark/henryhudsonmemorial.html https://kermitproject.org/newdeal/pdf/1937.html#1937/04/11 Lowrey, Carol, A Legacy of Art: Paintings and Sculptures by Artist Life Members of the National Arts Club, Hudson Hills (2007).
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on August 2, 2015.
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Hello, I am Karl Gruppe’s daughter and am writing to tell you of a film on the final touches and casting of the Henry Hudson memorial. It can be found on YouTube if you search my father’s name. More information can be found at the Archives of American Art in Washington D.C.