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Sculpting Shakespeare in San Diego

We invited the San Diego Shakespeare Society to take part in our project by looking at statues of William Shakespeare at the San Diego theatre, The Old Globe.

San Diego Globe
The Old Globe in Sad Diego, California, U.S.A.

Here at Finding Shakespeare, we thought that our new online exhibition and blog series ‘Sculpting Shakespeare’ would be a great opportunity to explore Shakespeare-inspired sculpture from further afield. We invited the San Diego Shakespeare Society to take part in this project by looking at statues of William Shakespeare at the San Diego theatre, The Old Globe:

"The San Diego Shakespeare Society ( sent Dr. Kim Keeline to the Old Globe to look at three statues of William Shakespeare.  She found out a little about the history of the statues and how they show the difficulties that the Globe has faced.

"Much like at the original Globe, fire is a part of our story.  This time, however, it was not caused by canons in a production but by arson.  The Old Globe started in 1935 and twice lost a theatre to fire, but it continues to present Shakespeare every summer.  This is a story about three statues of the Bard, but it is also about the strength of the theatre community here in San Diego.

"The San Diego Shakespeare Society is a nonprofit organization which seeks to promote Shakespeare's works; it holds a number of events every year to support its annual Shakespeare Student Festival in Balboa Park.”

The way in which people around the world embrace and celebrate William Shakespeare is the theme of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's current temporary exhibition “All the World’s a Stage: Celebrating Shakespeare around the globe” which is open in the Shakespeare Centre here in Stratford-upon-Avon.  The exhibition is included in a ticket to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace, and includes one of the newest acquisitions to our Collections – a fantastic wooden sculpture of William Shakespeare.

Leonty Usov pine wood carving of Shakespeare
Wood sculpture of William Shakespeare, by Leonty Usov

The was made by sculptor Leonty Usov, using Siberian Pine, which is native to his home in Tomsk, Russia. It was presented to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 2011 to celebrate the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.