Leonard McComb (2)

In the discussion between Antony Gormley and Rowan Williams, and particularly their response to the occasional timidity of the church in its commissions, I thought of Leonard McComb’s Portrait of a Young Man Standing, which, as has been referred to in his obituaries, was created an an image of mankind at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, modelled on one of his students at the West of England School of Art in Bristol. In 1990, it was exhibited in Lincoln Cathedral as part of an exhibition called The Journey, but the then Dean was so upset by the statue’s nudity that he had its genitals covered in a skirt and then the sculpture was removed altogether from the nave. McComb was so upset that he decided that it should not be exhibited and it now belongs to the Tate.

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