Public Art: Shakespeare Memorial
Sculptor: © Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal
Description: The bronze and marble memorial not only
features Shakespeare but five of his most famous characters - Hamlet, Romeo, Juliet, Portia and Falstaff.
Date Unveiled: 1926
Location: Shakespeare Place, between the Mitchell
Library and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Commissioned by: The family of Henry Gullett ( MLC,
editor and a former president of the Shakespeare Society of New South Wales) who died in 1914.
History of the Shakespeare Memorial : The statue, created by Australian Sculptor, Sir Bertram MacKennal, was
originally destined for India. However, when the Shakespeare Company caught a glimpse of the artist's work, they
simply had to have a copy.
Interesting Facts: The memorial had to be
repositioned to make way for the Cahill Expressway.
Controversy : Okay what is public art without a
little bit of controversy. On researching the memorial I came across this little gem, on the reasons why the
memorial was a must have ....as quoted by the President of the Shakespeare Society "We need one for this reason:
Shakespeare is not only the typical man of letters but also even more the typical Englishman. In that serene and
somewhat enigmatic personage we see shining humour, tolerance, wide understanding of human nature, soundness of
mind and body and equal development of all his faculties that belong to the English race in all its exemplars.” (to
be or not to be English?).
Works of Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal
William John Clarke Thomas Joseph Ryan Shakespeare Memorial