List of public art in Kensington Gardens

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This is a list of public art in Kensington Gardens, one of the Royal Parks of London.

When the contemporary sculptor Anish Kapoor held an exhibition of his work in the gardens in 2010 he remarked that they are "the best site in London for a piece of art, probably [the best] in the world".[1]

City of Westminster[edit]

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Gates, Kensington Gardens, London SW1 - geograph.org.uk - 1129082.jpg Coalbrookdale Gates South Carriage Drive

51°30′08″N 0°10′29″W / 51.5022°N 0.1748°W / 51.5022; -0.1748 (Coalbrookdale Gates)
1851 John Bell Charles Crookes Gates, cast iron Grade II Made in Coalbrookdale for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Installed at the entrance to Lancaster Walk in 1852 and moved to their present location in 1871, during construction of the Albert Memorial.[2]
Queen's Gate, a major southern gate of Kensington Gardens, London spring 2013 (12).JPG Queen’s Gate Queen’s Gate

51°30′06″N 0°10′49″W / 51.501635°N 0.180378°W / 51.501635; -0.180378 (Queen’s Gate)
1858 ? N/A Gates and piers, cast iron Grade II* [3]

Statue of Edward Jenner - geograph.org.uk - 1452436.jpg
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Statue of Edward Jenner Italian Gardens, Kensington Gardens

51°30′38″N 0°10′31″W / 51.510602°N 0.175156°W / 51.510602; -0.175156 (Edward Jenner)
1858 William Calder Marshall James Pennethorne Statue Grade II Unveiled by Prince Albert in Trafalgar Square in 1858. After pressure from anti-vaccinationists the statue was moved in 1862 to the Italian Gardens at Kensington,[4] which were conceived by Albert and laid out by Pennethorne. The rest of the sculpture in the ensemble is by John Thomas.[5]
Speke’s Monument in the Kensington Gardens, London 2013 (4).JPG
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Speke’s Monument
John Hanning Speke
Junction of Lancaster Walk and Budges Walk, Kensington Gardens

51°30′32″N 0°10′45″W / 51.5090°N 0.1792°W / 51.5090; -0.1792 (Speke Monument)
1864 N/A Philip Hardwick Obelisk Grade II A red granite obelisk, an appropriate form of commemoration for an explorer so associated with the River Nile. The pedestal inscribed IN MEMORY OF/ SPEKE/ VICTORIA[,] NYANZA/ AND THE NILE/ 1864. The phrasing avoids crediting Speke with the discovery of the Nile’s source, as this was a contentious point.[6]
Equestrian statue called Physical Energy in Hyde Park in the City of Westminster, London in spring 2013 (6).JPG
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Physical Energy Junction of Lancaster Walk and several other walkways, Kensington Gardens

51°30′24″N 0°10′42″W / 51.5068°N 0.1783°W / 51.5068; -0.1783 (Physical Energy)
1907 (installed) George Frederic Watts N/A Equestrian statue Grade II Installed 24 September 1907. Developed by Watts from his equestrian bronze Hugh Lupus (1870–84) for the Duke of Westminster. Gifted to the nation on Watts’s death in 1904, though the cast had not yet been made from the gesso model (now in the Watts Gallery). An earlier bronze cast was incorporated into the Rhodes Memorial (1906–12) in Cape Town, South Africa.[7]
Peter Pan monument.jpg
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Statue of Peter Pan West of the Long Water, Kensington Gardens

51°30′31″N 0°10′34″W / 51.5086°N 0.1760°W / 51.5086; -0.1760 (Peter Pan)
1912 George Frampton N/A Statue Grade II* Unveiled in secret on May Day 1912. The character’s creator, J. M. Barrie, commissioned the sculpture and chose the site, which is Peter’s landing point in the book Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Questions were raised in Parliament about the propriety of an author promoting his work in this way.[2][8]
Esme Percy Memorial, Kensington Gardens.JPG
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Memorial to Esme Percy Palace Gate

51°30′07″N 0°11′02″W / 51.502008°N 0.183887°W / 51.502008; -0.183887 (Esme Percy Memorial)
1961 Silvia Gilley N/A Drinking fountain with sculpture N/A A small bronze figure of a terrier on a platform rising from the centre of a shallow circular pool.[9]
Two Bears Drinking fountain, Kensington Gardens, London.jpg
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Two Bears Junction of North Flower Walk and Budges Walk, near the Italian Gardens, Kensington Gardens

51°30′39″N 0°10′35″W / 51.510972°N 0.176251°W / 51.510972; -0.176251 (Two Bears fountain)
1970 ? N/A Drinking fountain with sculpture N/A Statue of two embracing bears originally placed in 1939 to commemorate 80 years of the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association. The original was stolen but was replaced with a copy in 1970.[10]
St Govor's Well, Kensington Gardens.JPG St Govor’s Well Off the Broad Walk, Kensington Gardens

51°30′12″N 0°11′04″W / 51.503449°N 0.184426°W / 51.503449; -0.184426 (St Govor’s Well)
1976 ? N/A Drinking fountain N/A Inscribed: This drinking fountain marks the site of an ancient spring, which in 1856 was named St Govor’s Well by the First Commissioner of Works, later to become Lord Llanover. Saint Govor, a sixth-century hermit, was the patron saint of a church in Llanover which had eight wells in its churchyard.[11] The spring's name also appears as "St Gover's Well". It was thought to have medicinal properties.[12]
Henry-Moore-Arch-0855.JPG
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The Arch 1979–1980 North bank of the Long Water, Kensington Gardens

51°30′27″N 0°10′24″W / 51.507605°N 0.173237°W / 51.507605; -0.173237 (The Arch)
1979–1980 Henry Moore N/A Sculpture N/A Presented by Moore to the nation for installation in Kensington Gardens in 1980, two years after his eightieth birthday exhibition in the nearby Serpentine Gallery. Dismantled in 1996 due to structural instability and re-erected in 2012.[13]
Diana Memorial outside the Serpentine Gallery.JPG Memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales Forecourt of the Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens

51°30′16″N 0°10′31″W / 51.504467°N 0.175184°W / 51.504467; -0.175184 (Memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales)
1997 Ian Hamilton Finlay Peter Coates and Andrew Whittle (lettering) Floor plaque, tree plaque and eight stone benches N/A Pastoral poetry is inscribed on each element of the work. The plaque at the entrance of the gallery is inscribed with the names of trees found at Kensington Gardens a quotation from the eighteenth-century philosopher Francis Hutcheson.[14] Diana was a patron of the Serpentine Gallery.[15]
Trumpet drinking fountain, Kensington Gardens.JPG Trumpet (or the Tiffany Drinking Fountain) Junction of the Broad Walk and Mount Walk, Kensington Gardens

51°30′17″N 0°11′07″W / 51.504631°N 0.185291°W / 51.504631; -0.185291 (Trumpet / Tiffany Drinking Fountain)
2012 N/A Ben Addy (of Moxon Architects) Drinking fountain N/A The winner, alongside Watering Holes in Green Park, of a RIBA-judged design competition; it was commended for its "formal clarity and elegance".[16] Of the two designs this was thought to be the more "design-led" and Watering Holes the more "art-led".[17]

Albert Memorial[edit]

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Albert Memorial Friese Collage - May 2008-edit1.jpg
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Frieze of Parnassus Podium of the Albert Memorial 1864–1872 Henry Hugh Armstead and John Birnie Philip George Gilbert Scott Relief sculpture Grade I Depicts 169 individual architects, composers, painters, poets, and sculptors from history.[18]
Elephant sculpture London.jpg
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Asia Albert Memorial

51°30′08″N 0°10′39″W / 51.502206°N 0.177383°W / 51.502206; -0.177383 (Asia)
1865–1871 John Henry Foley George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I A personification of the continent, seated on an Indian elephant, removes a veil to reveal herself. Flanking her are an Indian soldier, a Persian poet, a Chinese potter and a Turkish merchant.[19]
Albert Memorial statue.JPG
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Africa Albert Memorial

51°30′09″N 0°10′39″W / 51.502560°N 0.177454°W / 51.502560; -0.177454 (Africa)
1865–1871 William Theed George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I A figure in Egyptian costume, representing the continent, rests on a camel. Beside her are an Arabian merchant, a figure sometimes identified as a Nubian, a female European and a tribesman.[20]
Albert Memorial - Americas Group.jpg
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America Albert Memorial

51°30′09″N 0°10′41″W / 51.502516°N 0.178030°W / 51.502516; -0.178030 (America)
1865–1871 John Bell George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I The personification of America rides a bison charging forward, guided by the sceptre of the United States, identified by her starry sash. The other figures represent Canada, Mexico and South America.[21]
Europe group (Albert Memorial).jpg
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Europe Albert Memorial

51°30′08″N 0°10′41″W / 51.502156°N 0.177962°W / 51.502156; -0.177962 (Europe)
1865–1871 Patrick MacDowell George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I Europa, seated on a bull, carries an orb and sceptre signifying her continent's imperial dominance in the nineteenth century. Around her sit Britannia with a trident, France with a sword and laurel wreath, Germany with an open book and Italy with a lyre and palette.[22]
Agriculture group (Albert Memorial).jpg Agriculture Albert Memorial 1865–1871 William Calder Marshall George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I A husbandman, flanked on either side by figures representing livestock farming (a shepherd boy with a lamb and an ewe) and cereal production, looks up to a female personification of Agriculture.[23]
Commerce group (Albert Memorial).jpg Commerce Albert Memorial 1865–1871 Thomas Thornycroft George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I The group consists of Commerce, bearing a cornucopia, a young merchant in "Anglo-Saxon" dress (said to be modelled on the sculptor′s son Hamo), an Eastern merchant and a rustic with a sack of corn.[24]
Engineering group (Albert Memorial).jpg Engineering Albert Memorial 1865–1871 John Lawlor George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I The presiding genius of engineering directs three workers: an engineer with plan in hand, a mechanical engineer with a cogwheel, and a navvy. The two bridges over the Menai Strait are represented at the back of the group.[25]
Manufactures group (Albert Memorial).jpg Manufactures Albert Memorial 1865–1871 Henry Weekes George Gilbert Scott Sculptural group Grade I A female personification of manufactures, accompanied by a blacksmith, looks down on two child labourers, one a factory girl and the other a young potter, representing art manufactures.[26]
Mosaics (western side) at Albert Memorial in London, spring 2013 (7).JPG
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Mosaics Tympana, spandrels and vault of the canopy, Albert Memorial 1866–1868 John Richard Clayton with Salviati and Co. George Gilbert Scott Mosaics Grade I The enthroned female figures in the tympana are identified by their inscriptions as Pictura, Poesis, Sculptura and Architectura; the last displays the design of the Albert Memorial itself.[27]
Virtues of the Albert Memorial in London, spring 2013.JPG Virtues Flèche of the Albert Memorial 1867–1870 James Redfern George Gilbert Scott Statues Grade I Personifications of the seven virtues along with an eighth, Humanity. Redfern's plaster models were electroformed in copper by Francis Skidmore’s ironworking firm in Coventry. The resulting figures were gilded after being mounted on the memorial.[28][29]
The Albert Memorial, Kensington - geograph.org.uk - 1462613.jpg Sciences Corners of the Albert Memorial 1868 c. 1868 Henry Hugh Armstead and John Birnie Philip George Gilbert Scott Statues Grade I In niches on a level with the spandrels are Armstead’s Rhetoric and Medicine and Philip’s Philosophy and Physiology. Below them, standing on column shafts, are Philip’s Geometry and Geology and Armstead’s Astronomy and Chemistry.[30]
Prince Albert Statue, Albert Memorial, London.jpg
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Statue of Albert, Prince Consort Albert Memorial

51°30′09″N 0°10′39″W / 51.502560°N 0.177454°W / 51.502560; -0.177454 (Prince Albert)
1871–1876 John Henry Foley and Thomas Brock George Gilbert Scott Statue Grade I Foley was given the commission in 1868 after the death of Carlo Marochetti. Working in the open on the model gave Foley the sickness which ultimately killed him in 1874, and the work was completed by his pupil Brock.[18]

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea[edit]

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Queen Victoria statue, Kensington Palace.jpg
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Statue of Queen Victoria Kensington Palace 1893 Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll N/A Statue Grade II Sculpted by the Queen’s daughter, the statue depicts Victoria aged 18 and wearing her coronation robes. The statue was a gift from the Kensington Golden Jubilee Memorial Executive Committee.[31]
William III of Orange statue, Kensington Palace - DSCF0293.JPG
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Statue of William III Kensington Palace 1907 Heinrich Baucke Aston Webb Statue Grade II A gift from Kaiser Wilhelm II.[32]
KensingtonGardens-ElfinOak.jpg
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Elfin Oak Kensington Gardens 1930 Ivor Innes N/A Sculptures Grade II [33]
South entrace gates to Kensington Palace.jpg Lion and Unicorn Kensington Palace (entrance) 18th century N/A Statues Grade II [34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gayford, Martin (28 September 2010). "It's the location of Anish Kapoor's 'Sky Mirror' that counts". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Monuments in Kensington Gardens". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Gates, Gatepiers and Railings to Queen's Gate (1217606)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Jenner statue". London Remembers. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  5. ^ Banerjee, Jacqueline (2006). "The Italian Garden in Kensington Gardens". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  6. ^ Banerjee, Jacqueline. "Speke Monument". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  7. ^ Brown, Stephanie (2007). G. F. Watts, Physical Energy, Sculpture and Site. Studies in the Art of George Frederic Watts. Compton, Surrey: Watts Gallery. pp. 15–37.
  8. ^ "Peter Pan statue—a piece of Neverland". The Royal Parks. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Kensington Gardens". Secret London. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Kensington Gardens". Secret London. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  11. ^ Furlong, David (2010). "London′s Holy Wells". Sacred Sites. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  12. ^ Forder 2012, p. 82
  13. ^ "The Arch by Henry Moore". The Royal Parks Foundation. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London". Peter Coates. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  15. ^ "About us". Serpentine Gallery. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Trumpet Drinking Fountain". The Royal Parks Foundation. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Robin Monotti Architects Win Tiffany & Co & Royal Parks Drinking Fountain Competition". Robin Monotti Architects. 7 November 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  18. ^ a b Sheppard, F. H. W., ed. (1975). "Albert Memorial: The memorial". Survey of London: volume 38: South Kensington Museums Area. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  19. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 244
  20. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 246
  21. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 249
  22. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 242
  23. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 222
  24. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 226
  25. ^ Brooks 2000, pp. 226–229
  26. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 255
  27. ^ Brooks 2000, p. 305
  28. ^ "Photograph: Figure of Faith". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  29. ^ Speel, Bob. "James Frank Redfern (1838–1876)". Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  30. ^ Brooks 2000, pp. 218–219
  31. ^ "Queen Victoria Statue". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  32. ^ "King William III statue". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  33. ^ "Elfin Oak". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  34. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1223784)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brooks, Chris, ed. (2000), The Albert Memorial: The Prince Consort National Memorial: Its History, Contexts and Conservation, London and New Haven: Yale University Press
  • Forder, Helen (2012), High Hats and Harps: The life and times of Lord and Lady Llanover, Tonypandy: TallyBerry