Scurry, James (1826-94; English/Australian)
Charles Summers
Donated by Scurry, 1884; de-accessioned 1908
Location unknown

[photo: bust as shown at 1880-81 Melbourne exhibition]

The bust of Summers donated by Scurry in 1884 was presumably identical with the sculpture he exhibited at the 1880-81 Melbourne International Exhibition. Many thanks to Summers researcher Jennie Maggs for alerting me to the fact that the sculpture was by Scurry himself, and identifying it in the photograph of the Victorian Picture Gallery at the 1880-81 exhibition (as shown here).

This appears to have been the only sculpture by Scurry in the pre-Felton collection, despite the fact that he worked predominantly in that medium in Melbourne for over 30 years following his arrival in 1853, including a period during which he assisted Summers (refer linked artist entry for further details).

Unfortunately, this bust was one of several plaster works de-accessioned after 1904, during the cull of Melbourne’s collection plaster collection. In May 1908, it was listed in an Age report on “surplus plaster statuary” in the NGV, and the MPL’s Annual Report for 1908  included it in a list of plaster works lent to the Trustees of the Exhibition Building. Its subsequent fate is unknown, as is that of *Summers (Charles) Lynceus and Hypermnestra {1876} Loc? [SC], also last recorded in 1908.


AR 1884, p.36 (“Bust of the late Charles Summers”); NGV 1894, p.139 (VII.Cast Gallery, no.68); not listed in NGV 1905 

See Works of Art, Official catalogue, Melbourne International Exhibition, 1880-81, p.305, (available online through the SLV). For the 1880 photograph by Ludovico Hart, see (item MM 107809)

For the 1908 Age article, see “Municipal Statuary” (1908), as listed in the Bibliography for this website (my thanks to Summers researcher Jennie Maggs for this reference)