New Ancestor Sculpture Arrives in Central Park

By Lori Perkins

Photo by Nicholas Knight


There are very few statues of women in New York City, but those that are here are memorable -the Statue of Liberty and the fictional Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, the girl confronting a bull on Wall Street, and somewhere there’s a Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue.


But on September 8th, with almost no publicity, Central Park added New Delhi and London-based artist Bharti Kher’s Ancestor statue to public view, where it will be on display through August of next year. The commanding new artwork graces Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the southeast entrance to Central Park.


The 18 foot tall painted bronze statue presents a mythical universal mother figure with the heads of 23 children guarding over us. The artist expressed that this is part of her vision of our multi-cultural world.


“Bharti Kher’s impressive new sculpture, Ancestor, is exactly the kind of monument we need in the 21st century,” says Public Art Fund Adjunct Curator Daniel S. Palmer. “It is a deeply personal expression of hybridity and global identity that invites dialogue about the importance of honoring our ancestors and fostering cultural exchange.”


“I invite viewers to leave their wishes, dreams and prayers with ‘Ancestor’; and to pass on their wisdom of living and love to the next generation,” Kher said in a statement. “She is the keeper of all memories and time. A vessel for you to travel into the future, a guide to search and honor our past histories, and a companion — right here, right now — in New York City.”