Keeping My Hand In at London's Natural History Museum (LOL!)

By George Beccaloni

In 2012 I led the campaign to raise funding (£50,000) for a slightly greater than life-size bronze statue of Wallace (click HERE for details), which the Wallace Memorial Fund donated to London's Natural History Museum in 2013 to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. I helped the sculptor, Anthony Smith, with the research into Wallace's clothing and equipment, so that the statue would be as accurate a depiction as possible of Wallace out collecting in the "Malay Archipelago" in the late 1850's/early 1860's. One of the things I did was to send Anthony photos of my hand holding my butterfly net, which he then used to model the hand and net of the statue. It only occurred to me a long time after the statue was given to the Museum, that my hand and net are now immortalised in bronze! I left the Museum in 2016 to work full time on my Wallace Correspondence Project - but I am clearly still 'keeping my hand in' there lol.

My hand and butterfly net.

Sir David Attenborough admires the statue just after he unveiled it.

Note that the statue was originally installed outside Darwin Center 2, but it has been moved to the second floor balcony above the central hall of the museum (Hintze Hall), near the door to the old herbarium. Sadly not many visitors to the museum get to see it in this rather out of the way location.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith