New bust commemorates Andrew Grant, benefactor of Edinburgh College of Art


05 March 2015
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imports_CESC_andrew-grant-bust-31-02461_96432.jpg New bust commemorates Andrew Grant, benefactor of Edinburgh College of Art
A specially commissioned artwork commemorating Andrew Grant, Edinburgh College of Art’s most significant benefactor, has been unveiled. ...
New bust commemorates Andrew Grant, benefactor of Edinburgh College of Art Images
A specially commissioned artwork commemorating Andrew Grant, Edinburgh College of Art’s most significant benefactor, has been unveiled.

The work, 'Portrait of Andrew Grant', was created by Kenny Hunter, one of Scotland’s leading artists and Programme Director of Sculpture at the College. The work is cast in bronze but is designed to look like a clay bust of Grant set on a handmade wooden plinth.

ANDREW GRANT - HISTORIC BENEFACTOR

Andrew Grant (1830-1924) was one of Edinburgh College of Art's most generous donors. He provided a third of the funds for the construction of the Main Building on Lauriston Place in 1907 and left £350,000 to the College in his will, the equivalent of £15-£18 million today. Grant was born 13 June 1830 in Cassell’s Place, Leith Walk, the eldest of twin sons.

He was educated at Leith High School and at the University of Edinburgh, where he read law. Upon graduation he travelled to China before moving to India. In Bombay he joined a well-established law firm Messrs Campbell, Mitchell & Co. where he quickly became chairman. In 1857, along with other professionals and merchants, he established the Royal Bank of India and became its first chairman. He was also a fellow of the Geographical Society and also became a fellow of the University of Bombay, which he helped found.

Artist Kenny Hunter said of the sculpture: 'I tried to make an artwork that reflects Andrew Grant’s legacy and his effect on the college. It is not just a likeness of him but more about what goes on in the studios of ECA: the creativity, the passage of time, the materiality. The most tangible thing about him for me is the longstanding creative support that he has given to young artists.'

Grant returned to Britain in 1866, establishing a business in Liverpool. He retired aged 42 in 1873, having married Elizabeth Ann Townsend from Glasgow the previous year. In 1875 he purchased the Invermay estate in Perthshire, his first country seat.

Three years later he was invited to stand as Liberal candidate for Leith Burghs, which he won comfortably. He held the seat until his retirement in 1884. His successor in the seat was William Gladstone.

For more on the Edinburgh College of Art, visit their website.

(Images copyright Jane Barlow)




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