Video: New York Spectacular ‘New York Public Library Lions’ Statues

How many puppeteers does it take to make a New York Public Library lion come to life? New York Spectacular Statue Designer and Director Matt Acheson gives us the scoop!

Patience and Fortitude, the names of the NYPL statues, require two puppeteers each to bring them to life. Working in tandem, the puppeteers are located inside the platform under each lion. One puppeteer operates the head, mouth and eyes while the other, who is standing inside the statue, operates the arms, tail and weight shifts.

“They’re primarily made of hollow carbon fiber that’s been molded and casted and covered with spandex to give it a limestone/stone quality to it,” says Matt. “We really wanted to maintain the integrity of the lions in front of the library, and having them be the guardians of the library.”