2017 - Boston - Make Way For Ducklings by Nancy Schon
A popular sculpture in Boston Public Garden is "Make Way For Ducklings" by Nancy Schon. It was installed in 1987.
About the Sculpture:
The children’s book author and illustrator Robert McCloskey won his first Caledecott Medal for his 1941 book “Make Way for Ducklings” about a family of ducks that make their way from a nest at the Charles River to a new home on the island in the Boston Public Garden’s pond — with police directing traffic along the way. The reassuring tale has become a childhood classic.
Urban planner Suzanne DeMonchaux thought it would make a great public sculpture for Boston — modeling how cities can be more friendly to children.
With support from city and park leaders, she raised money and enlisted Newton artist Schön to sculpt the ducks. But a sticking point was McCloskey himself, who resisted commercialization of his works and had not responded to DeMonchaux’s inquiries.
She finally got a neighbor to track him down and (the late author said in interviews) his wife finally talked him into it.
The bronze Mrs. Mallard, who stands about 3 feet tall, followed by her eight ducklings have become a hit themselves.
Schön — who also created “The Tortoise and the Hare” on Boston’s Copley Plaza to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, a dragon at Dorchester’s Nonquit Street Green, and a bronze Winnie the Pooh and friends at Newton Free Library — designs her sculptures to invite touch.
People have wholeheartedly embraced this, with children riding the ducks daily, and adults dressing them up for holidays and in sports jerseys when Boston teams make playoff runs.
And each Mother’s Day, children dress up themselves for the annual “Duckling Day” promenade from Boston Common to the sculptures in the Public Garden, recreating the ducks’ famous journey.