Finding Beth #WriteBravely

Central Park, New York

When I visited New York a couple of years ago, I had a few place marked down on my must-visit list. There were the usual suspects like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Wall Street, as well as iconic eateries in Little China and Little Italy. But along with the usual list, there were a couple of places that may not make it to people’s must-visit itinerary.

One such was the Bethesda Fountain.

The fountain sculpture was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1868 – she was the first woman to receive a public commission for a major work of art in New York City. She used a story about an angel who blessed the Pool of Bethesda, giving it healing powers, from the Gospel of John as the main inspiration for the design.

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York

This little bit of information – the inspiration behind the design – is what made me want to visit it. What intrigued me even more is the fact that was not all designed by a single person. The fountain sculpture – the angel on top – was designed by Stebbins, while the base of the fountain was designed by Calvert Vaux, who was the architect of all the original built features of Central Park, and the sculptural details were by Jacob Wrey Mould. In fact, this fountain was the only piece that was apparently commissioned by another artist.

Now, my inability to read a map is legendary {just ask the husband!} But I was so determined to find my way to the fountain that I armed myself with a big bottle of water, a bunch of snacks, a map, and set off to find Beth.

I found a lot of other beauties along the way too – like the Strawberry Fields and Shakespeare’s Garden, but when I finally found Beth, the long walk and the search was so worth it.

She has a calmness and a strength in her pose – a strong sense of purpose and dignity and inner beauty. I think this is something that only a woman could have brought out in this sculpture.

What do you think, when you look at Beth?

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6

Posted in Travel, USA and tagged , , , , .

12 Comments

  1. What a lovely collaborative effort and glad to know your map reading effort paid off . Yes the statue does have a healing calm and I can see why you were determined to see it

  2. Oh, we did a lot of map reading when we visited Thailand. And oh, we had a Bethasda Garden in my college. It was gorgeous! Thanks for this info. I had never heard of it before.

  3. A pool with healing powers has piqued my interest.
    Glad that you were able to tick it off your wish list and how!! 🙂

  4. If i found a strawberry field on the way, i’d probably change the destination and fest on them to my heart’s content (or unless some one drew me away!). Beth looks determined and all empowered to conquer!

  5. I love the angel of Bethesda Fountain. I see her daily in my work planning weddings in Central Park and I never tire of her. I never tire of anything in Central Park, though, it never disappoints.

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