Reflections

Duck Baby

She stands a mere 3 and half feet tall, but when she came to Forest Lawn, she started something very big.

The year was 1915. Forest Lawn was only nine years old and was still unveiling its revolutionary memorial-park concept to the community. The vision of creating a beautiful memorial-park with beautiful, peaceful grounds would also be enhanced with the addition of timeless architecture and classic art.

On a trip to the Pan-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, a display of bronze statuary caught the attention of Forest Lawn’s founder, Dr. Hubert Eaton. One piece in particular—a happy, young baby girl holding two ducklings in her hands—captured his imagination. He could see in his mind’s eye, a pond with a splashing fountain, visited by people young and old, and this statue captured that essence.

On his return to Forest Lawn, Dr. Eaton had the inspiration he needed, and just the statue he wanted—“Duck Baby.” He approached his cemetery board with the idea of purchasing the statue—for a whopping $800—and placing it in a fountain pond by the entrance.  The board at first rejected his proposal. Fountains and ponds with statues belonged in parks and museums, not cemeteries.

Dr. Eaton had the board right where he wanted them. “Forest Lawn,” he said, “will be more than a cemetery. It will be a memorial-park where people of all ages may visit and enjoy; where the sorrowing will be comforted; and the spirits of all who visit uplifted.”

The board agreed. “Duck Baby” became the first piece in what is today Forest Lawn’s renowned collection of original art treasures and finely detailed reproductions.

Today, there are hundreds of statuary pieces located within Forest Lawn.  Some are widely known works, such as Carrara marble re-creations of Michelangelo’s “David,” “La Pieta” and Moses. Others are originals, including works from American bronze master Frederic Remington. Many of them are one-of- a-kind originals that serve as memorials in gardens, on the grounds and in our mausoleums.

It is a collection unlike any in the world, displayed for the enjoyment of all to serve as a constant source of inspiration, education and comfort.

If you’ve never explored Forest Lawn’s collection of statuary, we invite you to experience the beauty and majesty of our collection—a collection that began one hundred years ago when “Duck Baby” came to Glendale.

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