Terrace Sculpture

From the beginning Huntington had intended to add sculpture to the buildings and to ensure their permanence by making them monumental works of art. Following his marriage to the sculptor Anna Vaughn Hyatt in 1923, plans for adding sculpture to Audubon Terrace began to take shape. Dominating the central space of the Hispanic Society’s lower terrace is the monumental bronze equestrian statue of El Cid Campeador. The first casting was presented by the Huntingtons to the city of Seville. The first replica was placed in the central court of the lower terrace on August 15, 1927. Four life-size bronze seated warriors leaning on shields were added to complete the ensemble. Additional sculptures by Anna Hyatt Huntington on the terrace include a red stag and red doe with fawn in bronze; two heraldic limestone lions with globes between their paws guard the entrance to the Museum and Library; and four limestone groups of bears, jaguars, vultures, and wild boars flank the top of the steps up to the terraces on each side of the North Building. Two monumental limestone equestrian sculpture reliefs on the façades of the North Building complete the sculptural program on the terrace: Boabdil, the last Nasrid king of Granada; and Don Quixote, whose crestfallen posture, broken staff, and gaunt horse Rocinante stand in stark contrast to El Cid’s vigorous stance and noble steed.