The 'Make Way for Ducklings' sculptor on what the piece means to Boston

The ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ sculptor on what the piece means to Boston

The “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture in the Boston Public Garden will be front and center this Mother’s Day, as the annual Duckling Day Parade is scheduled for noon Sunday. People have decorated and dressed Mrs. Mallard and her brood of eight ducklings for more than three decades to celebrate everything from holidays to sporting events to political causes. never in my wildest dreams, especially since they’ve been so dressed up the whole time,” Schön said Saturday during a live interview on the NewsCenter 5 EyeOpener. “I think that’s what is so exciting, to see what happened. They are such a part of Boston. I am really delighted. It’s wonderful.” When it comes to works of art, people are usually discouraged from touching them. Schön, however, said she enjoys seeing people interact with them, especially children. “Not just my ducks, but all of my sculptures – my little sculptures, my big sculptures – because you almost want to touch them because they’re there. There’s something, I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about it that’s so, so tactile that people are drawn to it.” The “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture is based on the 1941 children’s picture book of the same name, which happens to be the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Like “Make Way for Ducklings,” there are stories and lessons behind Schön’s sculptures. Boston’s latest work, “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” at Nonquit Street Green in Dorchester, is no exception. “It’s about diversity. How many times do you expect an owl to marry a kitty?” Schon said. “So I think that really speaks to what’s going on in our world today. I am very proud of this piece. Really, it’s quite special, and they had a very happy marriage.” A book edited by Schön titled “Ducks on Parade!” features a series of photographs depicting many of the outfits Bostonians have dressed in Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings showing “Make Way for Ducklings” fully dressed.

The “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture in the Boston Public Garden will be the focus this Mother’s Day, as the annual Duckling Day Parade is scheduled for Sunday noon.

People have been decorating and dressing Mrs. Mallard and her offspring of eight ducklings for more than three decades to celebrate everything from holidays to sporting events to political causes.

Nancy Schön, the artist behind the bronze sculpture, said she didn’t think the piece would become an iconic Boston landmark when it was first installed in October 1987.

“Never ever in my wildest dreams, especially since they’ve been so dressed up the whole time,” Schön said Saturday during a live interview on NewsCenter 5 EyeOpener. “I think that’s what’s so exciting, to see what’s happened. They’re such a part of Boston. I’m really thrilled. It’s wonderful.”

When it comes to works of art, people are generally discouraged from touching them. Schön, however, said she enjoys seeing people interact with them, especially children.

“Well, you know, the sculpture is a three-dimensional shape and so it’s wonderful. Basically, I want everyone to touch my ducks all the time,” she said. “Not just my ducks, but all of my sculptures – my little sculptures, my big sculptures – because you almost want to touch them because they’re there. There’s something there, I don’t know what it is , but there’s something about it that’s so, so tactile that people are drawn to it.”

The “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture is based on the 1941 children’s picture book of the same name, which happens to be the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Like “Make Way for Ducklings”, there are stories and lessons behind Schön’s sculptures. His latest work in Boston, “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” at Nonquit Street Green in Dorchester, is no exception.

“It’s about diversity. How many times do you think an owl will marry a kitty?” Schon said. “So I think it really speaks to what’s going on in our world today. I’m very proud of this piece. Really, it’s quite special, and they had a very happy marriage.”

A book edited by Schön titled “Ducks on Parade!” features a series of photographs chronicling many of the outfits Bostonians have dressed in Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings. showing “Make Way for Ducklings” fully dressed.

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