Arts and sciences are both vital to human culture and they help people to reconnect with nature and take action to protect it. Sculptures can be found in ZSL Library & Archives and across the site of ZSL London Zoo, they engage, inspire and delight visitors, they highlight the variety of the animal kingdom from dung beetles to giant pandas.
Sculptures at ZSL are an important part of our heritage, together with our many historic buildings. Find out more about architecture at ZSL London Zoo together with a flavour of ZSL’s rich history. Discover more about sculptures at ZSL London Zoo, some feature famous animals whilst others are memorials to people involved with ZSL.
One of the first sculptures you encounter as you enter ZSL Library & Archives is a small hippopotamus. Obaysch was a very famous former inhabitant of ZSL London Zoo, his arrival causing a sensation and created a new word -‘hippomania’! The small sculpture of this famous hippotamus was constructed from Nile mud by Joseph Gawen in around 1855, more in one of our previous blogs.
Guy the gorilla was another iconic animal, the bronze sculpture of him near the entrance to ZSL London Zoo is one of the favourite sculptures in London. This bronze, from 1982, is by William Timym, 1902-1990. A painting of Guy by William Timym hangs in ZSL Library & Archives but there also several other smaller bronzes by Timym on display such as this of Arabian oryx, these animals were the focus of a successful conservation breeding and reintroduction programme. More recently ZSL has been involved in reintroduction of scimitar horned oryx. Looking at the bronze side - on you can begin to understand the legend of unicorns.
This lovely bronze by William Timym depicts the black rhino Gertie, a former inhabitant of Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
Not all the bronzes in ZSL Library & Archives are by William Timym! For example, this elephant bull is by Nicola Toms, 1997.
This beautiful marble sculpture of a cheetah’s head is by Ernest Dielman, 1988.
One of our intriguing sculptures is the iron eagle which was previously located for 75 years on the bird of prey aviary in ZSL London Zoo. In our archives, it is mentioned in the 1910 minutes of Council. There is a widely held belief that the Kaiser Wilhelm II played some part in the acquisition of this eagle, if you do know more please get in touch.
These are just a few of the sculptures which can be seen in ZSL Library & Archives. Please note - we are reopening by appointment by on Tuesday and Wednesdays only. Please contact us if you would like to make an appointment firstname.lastname@example.org
On you way in or as you leave ZSL Library & Archives do take a look at the bust of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in the entrance lobby, ZSL’s Founder and first President.
Further details of these sculptures and their sculptors can be found in the online catalogue of ZSL Library & Archives To search for these and other art works click ‘Search Artworks’ on the left-hand sidebar and enter some details in the search box to discover more. The catalogue also includes details of other sculptures at ZSL London Zoo as well as other works of art in ZSL’s collections.
My thanks to Ann Datta, ZSL Volunteer Art Cataloguer and James Godwin (Photography)
ZSL Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives is a wonderful and unique information resource about animals and their conservation – we aim to inspire, inform, and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct. Information is vitally important in conservation.
ZSL Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives is currently open on Tuedays and Wednesdays by appointment only, please email in advance email@example.com You can explore and discover our collections in a variety of ways –
- Current services for ZSL Fellows include 'click and collect' loans and a 'scan and send' service.
- Use our online catalogue
- Read our monthly blog highlighting items in our collections
- Follow us on Twitter @ZSLLibrary
- See also our Welcome to ZSL Library & Archives on YouTube
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