Three Dancing Maidens is the centerpiece of the Untermyer Fountain in Conservatory Garden at Central Park. It is also one of my favorites, not only for the joy the trio of women evoke, but also for the sense of motion they project that is rare among sculptures.
With their fingers intertwined, the life-size maidens dance as their legs push and bodies lean clockwise around the fountain’s circular pool on a limestone base. A stream of water sprays up between them, their wet dresses hugging their bronze cast bodies.
Three Dancing Maidens is a replica of the original sculpture that German artist Walter Schott created in Berlin in 1910. The copy was once part of the Yonkers estate of corporate attorney Samuel Untermyer, who died in 1940. His children donated the work of art to the park, where it was installed in 1947.
The fountain stands at the center of the oval-ish area of the Conservatory’s French-style garden, where Korean chrysanthemums burst into full bloom come autumn.