Anthony Smith (sculptor)
Anthony Smith FLS (born 9 February 1984) is a British sculptor who works in bronze. He is known for his wildlife sculptures as well as his depictions of well-known figures, including Charles Darwin, Ian Fleming, and Alfred Russel Wallace. He has been awarded major public commissions including the design of a new £2 coin for the Royal Mint, the first new statue for London's Natural History Museum in more than eighty years, and a life-sized statue of Charles Darwin for Christ's College, Cambridge, which was unveiled by HRH Prince Philip in 2009. In addition to his sculpting work, he is also an award-winning photographer, specialising in wildlife photography.
Anthony Smith in his studio
|Born||9 February 1984|
|Alma mater||Christ's College, Cambridge|
|Alfred Russell Wallace statue, Natural History Museum, London; Young Darwin statue for Christ's College, Cambridge; Guinea £2 Coin for the Royal Mint.|
Early life and educationEdit
Smith was born in 1984 in Glasgow, Scotland. He grew up in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates before returning to the UK at the age of eight. He later attended Winchester College, where he discovered his interest in both sculpting and natural history. Whilst still studying at school, aged eighteen, he began sculpting and exhibiting his first bronze sculptures. He went on to study Natural Sciences at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating in 2005 with a degree in Zoology (MA, hons).
Upon graduating in 2005, he set up a studio in Cambridge and began sculpting full-time, specialising in wildlife and human figure subjects. His first major commission came in 2007, when he sculpted a portrait bust of Carl Linnaeus for the Linnean Society of London, commemorating the 300th anniversary of Linnaeus's birth. Other commissions soon followed, including a portrait bust of the famous author the James Bond novels, Ian Fleming. His first life-sized statue was commissioned for his old Cambridge College in 2009 to commemorate the bicentenary of its most famous alumnus, Charles Darwin. Smith was inspired to study zoology after first reading On the Origin of Species at the age of sixteen, and he was keen to depict Darwin as a young man, in contrast to the more common depiction of him as an elderly, bearded gentleman, as he was in later life. The life-sized statue was unveiled by HRH Prince Philip and was subsequently shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2009.
Smith's knowledge and interest in the life and works of Charles Darwin then led to him working on the television documentary series Beagle: In Darwin's wake by the Dutch broadcaster VPRO. This involved re-sailing Darwin's famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle, using the Dutch tall ship Stad Amsterdam. The voyage began in August 2009 and lasted eight months, with Smith as one of the show's presenters, discussing Darwin as well as the work of HMS Beagle's artist Conrad Martens.
In 2012 Smith was awarded a Shackleton Scholarship to visit the Falkland Islands as artist in residence, and in 2013 he was invited by the South Georgia Heritage Trust to spend two months on the island of South Georgia as artist in residence. The photos and sketches that he made during this period went on to form the basis for his next series of sculptures.
In 2012 he created the winning design for a new £2 coin for the Royal Mint. The coin was issued to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the first minting of the golden guinea coin. The new coin went into circulation in the United Kingdom in 2013.
In 2013 he sculpted a seven-foot tall statue of the 19th century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace for the Natural History Museum, London. This was the first new statue to be commissioned for the museum in more than eighty years. It was unveiled by Sir David Attenborough and subsequently shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2014.
In addition to his sculpting work, Smith is also an award-winning photographer. His first book was published in August 2015, and is a visual account of life aboard the Dutch tall ship Stad Amsterdam.
He states that his skills come from his studies of zoology, as well as the works of other artists such as Rembrandt Bugatti, Auguste Rodin, and François Pompon. He travels widely in order to observe animals in their natural environment, making observations, photographs and sketches which form the basis of his bronze sculptures.
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- "Portraits & Photographs, Linnean Society". Linnean Society of London. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Young Man! Darwin 200". Darwin 200 website hosted by Christ's College Cambridge. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Marsh Sculpture Prize". Christ's College. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "VPRO Beagle Series". VPRO. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Shackleton Fund Scholarships". Shackleton Fund. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "South Georgia Newsletter, September 2013". Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Guinea £2 Coin". The Royal Mint. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Marsh Awards 2014". Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Stad Amsterdam Book". Stad Amsterdam Book. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Yusuf Hamied Bust". Christ's College, Cambridge. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.