Created By: SFU
The resting granodiorite lions located at the north entrance of the Vancouver Art Gallery, which was originally the entrance to the Vancouver Law Courts building, have a Scottish element to them. Modeled after the lions in London’s Trafalgar Square, these lions were sculpted in 1910 by Scottish artisan John Bruce along with the assistance of Timothy Bass. According to a section from the Vancouver Sun’s gallery preview, these lions have a troublesome history associated with them. It is to note that the lions have incomplete noses, ears and manes; this detail work was left unfinished by Bruce because the province ran out of funds.
A story in The Province also mentions that during the Second World War on November 3, 1942, the lion on the west side survived an explosion that was initiated by an unknown person who took a strong dislike to the sculptures. The person had placed a few sticks of dynamite in the lion’s haunches and then set off an explosion that sent pieces of granite flying.
Bibliography: Brissenden, Connie. “Vancouver Art Gallery.” Vancouver: A Pictorial Celebration Including Vancouver Island, Victoria, and Whistler. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 2006. Google Scholar. Web. 17 May 2017.
Griffin, Kevin. “Art from the Archive: In 1983, Vancouver celebrated the new VAG.” Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network Inc., 22 April 2015. Web. 16 May 2017.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scotland Walks Vancouver