William Hogarth’s statue

Jim Mathieson, sculptor, and Hugh Brendon, appeal co-ordinator, discussing where to put the pug in Jim’s studio, 2001

from Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal 11, 2002

A fine statue of the artist William Hogarth, with his pug dog at his feet, was unveiled in October 2001. It stands in a newly landscaped area outside Barclays Bank, opposite the junction of Turnham Green Terrace with Chiswick High Road. An appeal committee, working under the wing of the Chiswick Traders’ Association, commissioned the sculpture which is the work of Jim Mathieson of Hanwell. Following their success in raising the £50,000 needed for the figure of the artist, the committee decided to commission a pug dog, of which Hogarth had several, and set to work to raise a further £10,000.

The project has provided a Millennium landmark for Chiswick. It made use of the Edwardian railings which formerly surrounded an underground public lavatory slightly further to the west, which had been removed to make way for car parking. LB Hounslow provided the landscaping, with simple seating, small trees and special lighting. The project proved to be a popular one, judging by the crowd of over 400 which turned up to see the unveiling.

Ian Hislop, a 21st century successor to Hogarth as editor of the satirical magazine, Private Eye, and a knowledgeable Hogarth enthusiast (he officially re-opened Hogarth’s house in 1997 after its refurbishment for the tercentenary) performed the ceremony. He was assisted by Leaha James, a pupil at William Hogarth primary school who unveiled the pug dog at Hogarth’s heels. And to everyone’s delight, David Hockney, who had been patron of the appeal, was able to be there and was invited by Ian Hislop to assist him.

The appeal committee has submitted a bid to the Charity Commission for registration as The William Hogarth Trust. It would promote education and understanding of Hogarth and his work and could offer support to or work in partnership with museums and galleries with relevant material, such as Hogarth’s House.

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