Sixty enquiries were received requesting details of the Open Competition for a life-size bronze statue of the actor Edward Alleyn sponsored by The Dulwich Society. Advertisements were placed on the Royal Society of British Sculptors website, in the Royal Academy magazine and Artists' Newspaper. In addition press releases were sent to leading newspapers and art magazines. This resulted in thirty three submissions by sculptors of maquettes and drawings of their designs. These were considered by a panel of judges, under the chairmanship of Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery and included Prunella Scales, representing the Stage (her son, Sam West was an Alleyn's School pupil), Sylvia Lahav of the National Gallery, Jeremy Gotch representing the Dulwich Estate and Brian Green representing the Dulwich Society.
The six finalists were each awarded a prize of £750 which was presented at the Edward Alleyn Statue Public Appeal held at the Gallery on May 27th. The works of the six finalists will remain on display in the Linbury Room at the Picture Gallery until 6 June. It is expected that the sculptor of the winning design will be offered the commission for the completed work to be installed in the grounds of the Old College, Dulwich Village, the site of Edward Alleyn's benefaction, in September 2005 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of his purchase of the Manor of Dulwich.
Dulwich Society members who wish to subscribe to the Appeal are invited to send their donations to the Appeal Treasurer, David Trace FCA, 88 Burbage Road, SE 24 9HE. Cheques should be made out to the Dulwich Society Alleyn Statue Appeal.
Over the next few issues the Newsletter will carry a series of articles exploring Edward Alleyn's complex character. To start the series, Arthur Chandler, Archivist Emeritus of Alleyn's School builds up a picture of the Founder's life before he became associated with Dulwich.