The statue of George Washington at the University’s Richmond campus will be featured later this year as part of a national sculpture project organised by Art UK, the online home for every public art collection in the UK.
In order to become part of the project, the statue has been captured on camera by Juliet Ferguson, a Volunteer Photographer, part of a team of volunteers throughout the UK. This bronze sculpture by Avard T Fairbanks (1897-1987) was a gift in 1996 to Richmond from the George Washington University to commemorate the close relationship between the two institutions. Juliet said, “I was surprised to find a statue of George Washington in Richmond. I was very happy that I was able to add him to the collection.”
Art UK Sculpture uses digital and physical engagement to transform the way people access and learn about sculpture. In the words of Art UK, ‘The UK’s sculpture collection is truly global, offering insights into diverse cultures. Major learning, engagement and training programmes help people to share knowledge, exchange opinions and visit sculptures, both in-person and online.’
Over 500 people have contributed their time as a volunteer for the Art UK Sculpture project, by taking photographs of public sculpture, researching statues and monuments, and analysing evaluation data from the learning and engagement programme. For each object photographed, the volunteers carry out an exhaustive search, primarily online. The information recorded includes the precise location of the sculpture (i.e. the full address, latitude, longitude and the grid reference), the sculptors, architects, designers, and foundries involved in creating the sculpture, and the names of who commissioned and funded the work.
The photography was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic but, thanks to further funding, the Volunteer Photographers are slowly recommencing the photography with the easing of restrictions.
The George Washington statue can be found later this year on the Art UK public sculpture website which is being constantly updated.