John Muir Wood

Monument in Glasgow Necropolis to John Henry Alexander, d. 1851, sculpted by Alexander Handyside Ritchie

About this artwork

This calotype by John Muir Wood was taken at Glasgow Necropolis and shows the monument to actor and theatre owner John Henry Alexander. Under the direction of Alexander, the Theatre Royal on Dunlop Street became Glasgow’s premier theatre. In 1849, however, the building caught fire during a show and sixty-five customers died. Alexander was said never to have recovered from the shock and died not long afterwards. This monument was designed by James Hamilton and carved by the well-known Scottish sculptor Handyside Ritchie. The front section represents a theatre stage with curtains and footlights. The figures on either side personify tragedy and comedy and the laurel wreath that is lowered onto the stage reminds the viewer of Alexander’s final curtain call.

  • title:
    Monument in Glasgow Necropolis to John Henry Alexander, d. 1851, sculpted by Alexander Handyside Ritchie
  • accession number:
    PGP W 64
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Albumenised salt paper print from a calotype negative
  • date created:
    About 1852
  • measurements:
    18.80 x 23.10 cm
  • credit line:
    Sir Alan Muir Wood Collection, presented 1985

John Muir Wood

John Muir Wood