Opened in 2002, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden was first envisioned when Ted Geisel visited Springfield in 1986. After his death in 1991, his wife Audrey authorized the creation of a national memorial and provided major support for the project. In 1996, Ted’s stepdaughter, noted sculptor Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, was selected to make over 30 bronze statues for the Museums’ grounds. So many of the millions of people who visited the Sculpture Garden asked about a Dr. Seuss Museum that the Springfield Museums knew it had to find a way to create the much-requested tribute to Springfield's native son. On the fifteenth anniversary of the opening of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss opened its doors.
Click on the map and individual sculptures to learn more about Lark's memories of Ted and how they inspired her to create each piece.
“This planet needs a Lorax and thanks to Ted we have one. He may be small and yellow furred, but he's a tough little fellow with a big message: ‘UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not!’ ” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“There is no other sculpture in the Memorial that means as much to me as this one does, for this is Dr. Seuss himself and my stepfather. It is also my first attempt at sculpting someone's likeness and doing it full figure life size! When finished, I showed the sculpture to my mother, Dr. Seuss’ widow. As she walked into the room her first words were, ‘All these years and here he is, spooky.’ At that moment I was one very relieved Blonde.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“And the Cat - I had to include him, he is the greeter to Ted's Seussian world and in many ways he is Ted himself, shy, mischievous and oh so very whimsical.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“I think Ted took great delight in drawing birds, especially the plumage. With Gertrude and her tale of wanting more in the way of plumage, Ted had a perfect excuse to go a bit wild with her tail feathers. For the bronze though, I myself had to show some degree of control.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“I chose to put this book in the Memorial because it is Ted's last book and it is different from the others. It is Ted's farewell. The Cat In the Hat, with a tip of his hat, is bidding us adieu wishing us well on our journey through life, and leaving us with a few gentle words of wisdom. Over the years it has given me deep pleasure whenever I see someone standing in front of this book quietly, thoughtfully, reading Ted's parting words ‘Oh, the Places You'll Go.’" Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“These two had to be a part of the Memorial, but where do you put a green-furred, red-eyed fellow that isn't particularly pleasant or trustworthy? He has to be a bit separate from the others. Hence, you will find the Grinch and his loyal dog Max peeking around the corner of Ted's book Oh, the Places You'll Go!” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“This sculpture was a challenge and a delight to create, and I am very happy with the end result. It is my belief that Ted as a boy, spent many an hour carefully observing the fascinating inhabitants of Springfield's local ponds. As an adult, Ted recreated this world time again in many of his books.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“Sam almost didn't make the list I was compiling of the Dr. Seuss characters that needed to be a part of the Memorial, I simply forgot about him. While watching a television program about Dr. Seuss, I noted how many children mentioned him as their favorite. A bit startled that I had over looked this popular fellow, I immediately set about to sculpt him.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“I have always believed these two troublesome blue-haired chaps were the result of an evening Ted must have spent in someone's home. I can just imagine the hosts for the evening feeling rather excited that Dr. Seuss would be their guest and wouldn't he just love to meet the twins? I further imagined the twins took over the evening, causing mayhem and distress for one and all. Once safely home Ted recreated the two of them as Thing One and Thing Two. Perhaps.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“These two figures show up often in Ted's books. I don't know for certain, but I think they represent Ted and his older sister. I thought that because boys and girls would be visiting this Memorial, it was important to have a boy and a girl much like themselves there to greet them.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“With this sculpture you have the largest and the smallest figures of the Memorial, you just can't see the latter. Held carefully in Horton's curled trunk is a clover blossom on top of which rests a tiny fragile ball, Whoville. Remember, ‘A person's a person, no matter how small.’ ” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates
“I spent many pleasant and peaceful hours sculpting/combing Thidwick's fur. I like to think that's why he has such a contented smile on that sweet face of his. But I am not the only one in the family who has a soft spot for this Seussian moose. My sister Leagrey has a bookstore in San Francisco that carries his name, Thidwick Books. He is truly a family favorite.” Sculptor and Stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates