World War I 107th Infantry Memorial by Karl Illava, Central Park
Karl Illava (1896-1954) designed and created this bronze sculpture depicting seven World War I foot soldiers in battle. It is located in Central Park at 5th Avenue and 67th Street in Manhattan. The work is one of several war memorials in Central Park and is dedicated to the men who served in the 107th New York Infantry Regiment during World War I. According to Wikipedia, the regiment saw heavy action as 580 men were killed and 1,487 were wounded out of 3,700 men originally in the regiment, with two soldiers awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The statue depicts seven men, with the helmetless leader and another soldier rushing to enemy positions with guns drawn and bayonets fixed. To the side (not shown) soldiers support the wounded.
The 7th-107th Memorial Committee donated the bronze memorial. Illava, who served in the 107th IR as a sergeant, conceived the monument in about 1920. It was constructed from 1926–1927 and placed in Central Part in its current location near the perimeter wall. According to the Central Park website, in a lighter moment, Illava described the group as "the doughboys chasing each other out of Central Park."
Information from the Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalogue:
Medium: Sculpture: bronze; Base: granite
Dimensions: Sculpture: approx. 9 ft. 6 in. x 14 ft. 6 in. x 5 ft. 3 in.; Base: approx. 4 ft. 5 in. x 25 ft. x 9 ft
Inscription: (On sculpture, lower left:) Karl morningstar Illav, Sculptor/William Jordan Rogers, John Theodore Haneman, Architects/Richard Davis, Geo Gallanger, Construction (On sculpture, lower right:) FOND. G. Vignali Firenza (On front of base:) SEVENTH REGIMENT NEW YORK/ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTH UNITED STATES INFANTRY/1917 IN MEMORIAM 1918 (Base, top left:) KARL ILLAVA, SCULPTOR signed