Rocket Thrower - Orlando, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 28° 34.303 W 081° 22.015
17R E 464115 N 3160592
Quick Description: This replica is of a statue on display in New York commissioned for the 1964/65 World's Fair. It is installed at the Orlando Cultural Arts complex.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 11/3/2009 2:04:20 PM
Waymark Code: WM7K62
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
Views: 19

Long Description:
Rocket Thrower
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Rocket Thrower is a bronze sculpture located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens New York City. It was created by Donald De Lue for the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair.

De Lue was among a total of five sculptors who would create pieces for the fairground. He was contracted in 1962 for the amount of $105,000 with a deadline for completion of under six months. De Lue Completed a full plaster model in 1963 at which time it was sent to Italy to be cast.

The Rocket Thrower stands 43 feet high and depicts an athletic and god-like man launching, with his right hand, a small sphere into the sky which leaves an arcing trail of flames behind. His left hand is raised skyward and emits a swirl of stars which enchant the path of the rocket. The Rocket Thrower's left leg strains and crouches with his left foot planted on an arched perch. His right leg extends out fluidly. On the front of the perch (facing the Unisphere) are three distinct stars arranged in an angled line across its short width.

When released, the critics of the time had mixed reviews of the work. De Lue explained the work as “the spiritual concept of man’s relationship to space and his venturesome spirit backed up by all the powers of his intelligence for the exploration of a new dimension.” However, The New York Times art critic John Canaday described it as “the most lamentable monster, making Walt Disney look like Leonardo Da Vinci.”

Over time the statue has been affected by corrosion and the structural integrity has diminished. One arm was repaired in 1989.

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Description: A nude male figure crouches on top of a curved column with his bent proper left leg forward on the tip of the column. His proper right leg extends out behind him. Above his head is a cluster of stars with a rocket soaring through them. His proper right hand reaches up to the cluster of stars. The tail of a rocket extends from his lowered proper right hand and arches above his head through the cluster of stars. The sculpture rests on a square base set in the middle of a rectangular planter.

Remarks: This sculpture is the only cast from the original sculpture created for the 1964-1965 World's Fair in New York to celebrate man's entry into space. The artist modified the stars for this casting to include seven stars commemorating the seven astronauts who died when the shuttle Challenger exploded. Files at Orlando City Hall contain information on the sculpture.

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TITLE: Rocket Thrower

ARTIST(S): Donald De Lue

DATE: 1986

MEDIUM: Bronze, Granite


Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

Loch Haven Park, Mills Avenue, Orlando, Florida

None noted

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