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Standing Owl, from New York Herald Building, NYC

Catalogue Description:
One of two of owl sculptures (L71.24.1-.2). Pairs of light fixtures inside each head behind pierced eyes with green glass insets; one owl has glass eyes missing. Identified as horned owls. Source: Herald Building, Herald Square, New York, designed by Stanford White, erected 1893, demolished 1921. Sculptures commissioned by Herald publisher James Gordon Bennett, Jr. (1841-1918), and installed 1895. Originally there were 22 owls adorning the roofline of the Venetian palazzo style hall. They were part of the "Minerva and the Bell Ringers" clock--when the bell rang at every hour, the owls' eyes would blink. After the building was demolished, the clock and owls were given to New York University. The clock was loaned to the city in 1939, and is now installed at Herald Square, flanked by two owls; by the 1960s the remainder of the owls had been given as permanent loans to various institutions such as the Park Ridge, NJ, Board of Education, the Muscular Distrophy Associations of America, and the Paris office of the International Herald-Tribune. (In the bequest of James Gordon Bennett, Jr., the University cannot give the owls away.)


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