Landmarks - Public Art in the Capital Region

Victoria

Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Price


Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Price
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Description

Artwork DescriptionThe original statue of Queen Elizabeth II was created in cement by local sculptor Peggy Walton Packard to commemorate the royal visit to Victoria in 1959. In 1960 the statue was stolen from City Hall as a university prank. Three days later it was recovered and eventually installed in Beacon Hill Park, south edge of the Park’s main parking lot on Circle Drive. A month later it was chipped by vandals then stolen again and later found at the bottom of the Inner Harbour. Victoria writer Janis Ringuette wrote: The Daily Times commissioned a replacement bust made of bronze. Ottawa resident Arnold Price, the only Canadian sculptor with experience in bronze, used the original mold created by Peggy Packard. The completed bust, anchored at the southeast corner of Queen’s Lake on Circle Drive, was formally presented to the city by publisher Stuart Keate on August 5, 1962. The second bust has enjoyed a quiet life, though it was knocked flat in August, 1965. Reached by phone, sculptor Peggy Packard recalled another incident: “An X was scratched on the Queen’s forehead, perhaps with a diamond ring. It is hard to scratch bronze. I had to do some covering up on that. You can still see it if you look closely.” Remembering the pranks and vandalism of the 1960s, Packard said, “It was awful. It seemed the university students were attacking the Queen and indirectly attacking me, too.” She never accepted another public art commission. The rock wall constructed for the concrete bust remains in the parking lot west of the petting farm. The statue’s half-circle base is now a planter. For 44 years, the handsome bronze bust of Queen Elizabeth II has stood next to Queen’s Lake, picturesquely framed by shrubs. The only hint of past indignities is the faint X visible on her forehead. On August 20, 2004, a few days after opening the XV Commonwealth Games at the University of Victoria, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Beacon Hill Park to view the bronze bust at Queen's Lake and officially unveil a new plaque.

About Arnold Price

Artist BioCanadian sculptor in the 60's who worked in bronze.

Details

Artwork TypeMonument
MediumBronze
Unveiled dateMay 08, 1962
Reference #3801
SiteBeacon Hill Park - Queen's Lake, at Heywood and Circle Drive
Art CategoryCivic Public Art
Selection ProcessCivic: Invitational / Commissioned
Municipality/NeighbourhoodVictoria: James Bay

Neighbourhood

Artist

Type of Artwork