Your University, One Photo at a Time

The Mysterious Statue of Adam Smith

The Mysterious Statue of Adam Smith

There is something odd about this statue, which I’ve featured previously, of Adam Smith, which sits underneath Randolph Hall in the Main Building. According to a book by Ray McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, how the University became the owner of this particular statue is somewhat of a mystery.

Long story short, the marble statue was created by a German by the name of Hans Gasser around 1867. The statue came to be under the ownership of the University of Glasgow either as a present from the Adam Smith Club of Glasgow (if such a club existed), or having been directly acquired by the University in the 1870s. Problem is, even after extensive searching, no records of either were found. There have been some records of a similar statue being at the University of Oxford, but no such statue exists there. So, no one knows how the statue came to be owned by the University.

I say it was magic. Or penguins.

There are plenty of records Adam Smith’s time at Glasgow University, which the University Archives featured in an exhibition consisting of photos of his records from the Archives, available online.

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One response

  1. Alma Topen

    There was an Adam Smith Club in Glasgow and there are some records relating to it in Glasgow University Archive Services. The collection reference is DC331. A list of what is available can be found on our online catalogue at this web address:
    http://cheshire.cent.gla.ac.uk/ead/search?operation=full&rsid=2810&firstrec=1&numreq=20&highlight=1&hitposition=0#rightcol

    Alma Topen

    September 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

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