Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial

Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial, Gordon Reserve, Spring St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Public Art: Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial

Sculptor: © Paul Raphael Montford

Date: 1931

Description: Bronze statue of horseman and poet Adam Lindsay Gordon on a sandstone pedestal. The seated Gordon is depicted with a pencil in one hand and a book in the other, whilst his saddle lies beneath the chair he sits upon. With sleeves rolled up, riding boots on, saddle under his chair, book hanging from his finger tips, the sculptor has captured the essence of Gordon yet still managed to depict the lonely figure he was. Tormented artist.

Location: Gordon Reserve, Spring Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Commissioned by: The Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial Committee.

Background of Adam Lindsay Gordon: Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-1870) was born in 1833 in the Azores, where His grandfather owned a plantation. Continually in trouble as a teenager, his family were forced to send a young Adam to South Australia, following the completion of his education in England. In 1853, shortly after his arrival in Adelaide, he applied to become a constable in the mounted police. Unsatisfied with his new found job, he tried (though unsuccessfully ) at both politics and sheep farming. In 1866 he decided to try his luck in Western Australia, settling near One Tree Bridge. He brought with him 5,000 sheep of which a third died in a short time. To add insult to injury his shepherd stumbled across a graphite deposit near the Donnelly River, which started a short lived mining industry. A broken man in financial ruin, Adam Lindsay Gordon committed suicide by gunshot on Brighton Beach, Melbourne, in 1879.

History of the Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial: In 1910 the Earl of Dudley was the first to donate money towards the Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial. His £60 got the ball rolling and in 1911 a public meeting was held in Melbourne to discuss the project further. A second meeting was held the following year but sadly, very few people attended and the project found itself £1,000 short. It would take another two decades before the memorial was erected. The site chosen for the memorial was on Spring Street where the recently vacated Eight Hour Movement Monument had stood. This was to mark the centenary of Gordon's birth. The sculptor Paul Montford was rewarded for his work, receiving the gold medal of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

North Inscription:

 

'Of the works of His hand by sea or by land, the horse may at least rank second.'


East Inscription:

'He sang the first great songs these lands can claim to be their own.'


 

              Adam Lindsay Gordon, Spring St, Gordon Reserve, Melbourne, Australia     Adam Lindsay Gordon, Spring St, Gordon Reserve, Melbourne, Australia

 

Trivia: The original concept for the statue had Gordon standing not sitting.

Dispelling Rumours: Contrary to popular belief there is no blood tie between General Charles George Gordon and Adam Lindsay Gordon, despite the two monuments being located in the same reserve. It is a mistake easily made considering they both reside at Gordon Reserve and they bear striking historical similarities, Adam Lindsay and General Charles Gordon were from the same Scottish clan, shared the same birth year of 1833, and attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich together. The problem is, tracing the family tree, General Gordon he doesn't seem to have had any family branch in Ireland during the 1700s!

 

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