The Hippo Ballerina has Returned to the Grand Central Terminal!

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Our beloved hippo ballerina statue has returned just next to the route of our free tour! She’d certainly be a major attraction along the way!

The hippo ballerina has returned!

Grand Central Terminal; Credits: Ɱ
Grand Central Terminal; Credits:

The Grand Central Terminal will welcome her once again. She’ll come along with a couple of new animal friends –  Hippo Ballerina, pirouette, and Rhino Harlequin, pirouette. This glorious trio is part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program. All three of them will greet visitors between East 41st and East 42nd Streets, right in front of Grand Central Station until New Year.

Hippo Hiatus

Hippo Ballerina, Credits: New York City Department of Transportation
Hippo Ballerina, Credits: New York City Department of Transportation

The hippo ballerina statue took some time to travel around town. She was spotted at several spots including Dante Park by Lincoln Center, the Flatiron South Public Plaza, and the Girl Scouts of America Building.

Creating the Hippo ballerina statue

The hippo ballerina statue is 15-foot-tall and 2.5-ton-heavy. Danish artist Bjørn Okholm Skaarup is her creator. He drew inspiration by Edgar Degas’ beautiful sculpture “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” and the dancing hippos of Walt Disney’s Fantasia.

Skaarup has several smaller art pieces scattered around the block. You may see more of his artworks at Cavalier Galleries on West 57th Street by Fifth Avenue.

Bjørn Okholm Skaarup

“My work plays between the limits of nature and culture,” says sculptor Bjørn Okholm Skaarup. “The animals are thoroughly ‘culturalized’—they represent human allegories or use manmade tools.”

Bjørn Okholm Skaarup

Bjørn Okholm Skaarup created a contemporary bestiary of a classic animal book in bronze. Each sculpture showcases a whimsical story or fable, ranging from ancient fables and art history to music and modern animation.

The majestic lion, the traditional king of beasts, in the style of the court sculptor Giambologna de Medici wears the crown and armor of the great monarch, but rides on a rocking horse and greets him briefly and happily.

Frogs reenact Homeric battles in Batrachomyomachia, while mice stare through glasses and tap their phones as their five senses. A cheetah runs faster on a scooter, a giraffe climbs higher on stilts, and a kangaroo jumps on a pogo stick – “kængurustylte” in Okholm Skaarup’s native Danish.

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