By Val Bott
Brentford and Chiswick Local History Journal 10 (2001)
During 2000 a small committee of local people, under the auspices of the Chiswick Traders’ Association, was raising funds for a statue of Hogarth in Chiswick High Road as a millennium project.
After a long period of major works to the sewerage system in the High Road, new landscaping was required and a site outside Barclays Bank, facing Turnham Green Terrace, has been laid out with new paving and seats surrounded by the decorative iron railings which used to border the subterranean public toilets further along the road.
Hounslow Council agreed to act as guarantor while the fund-raising went on, and the statue, which shows Hogarth in informal dress with his palette, was commissioned from Jim Mathieson.
Many individuals gave donations to the fund but progress was slow at first. Then this Society offered an evening of local history talks on Hogarth and 18th-century Chiswick as a fundraising event. This grew into an evening’s entertainment for 200 people on the artist’s 303rd birthday in November 2000 at Chiswick Town Hall. It included a performance of excerpts from a musical about Hogarth’s life, lots to drink and 18th-century sweetmeats, an art auction and a short slide show of the Chiswick Hogarth knew. It sold out and raised £7,600.
By the spring of 2001 nearly all of the £50,000 required for the statue had been raised with three large donations of £10,000 each coming from local businesses. The statue will be unveiled later in 2001.