NYU Alumni 
Magazine

Signed, Sealed, Undelivered

In the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge spins proof that—with enough elbow grease, tenacity, sacrifice, and belief—anything is truly possible

Nearly three decades elapsed between the time artist Jane Walentas (STEINHARDT ’85) won the Idora Park merry-go-round (above) at auction in Youngstown, Ohio, and the day it opened as Jane’s Carousel on the banks of the East River (right).

Walentas leaned heavily on her fine arts training to help her authentically restore the horses—carved and painted in 1922—to their former Roaring Twenties glory.

“Everyone except my husband and son thought I was crazy,”
says Walentas of her passion project. “Even having my studio in
DUMBO seemed nuts because it was so desolate when I started
in the 1980s. There wasn’t anything here but a coffee truck
outside and mice indoors.”

While Superstorm Sandy damaged the electronics of the carousel’s high-tech Jean Nouvel-designed pavilion, the wooden equines remained, thankfully, unscathed.

Photos from top: © James Nord; Courtesy Jane’s Carousel; East River © Daniella Zalcman; Jessica Dailey; COURTESY JANE’S CAROUSEL; courtesy AnNa DORFMAN/DOORSIXTEEN.COM; Jessica Dailey