Hipster Statues at Bush House

To the Friendship of the Classical and the Contemporary © www.modernclassicisms.com Department of Classics, King’s College London

If you’ve been back to Strand campus recently, you may have noticed that the two handsome chaps above the grand entrance to our iconic Bush House have had a bit of a makeover.

The statues were originally made by Malvina Hoffman in the 1920s to represent America and Britain. Their stylish new look, with plaid neck scarves, oversized glasses and bright slim-fit t-shirts, is the work of French artist Léo Caillard. Caillard is best known for staging witty and provocative dialogues between past and present, and has received international acclaim for his Hipsters in Stone series, which similarly dressed classical statues in contemporary clothing.

The intervention is part of The Classical Now, a major exhibition staged across two spaces at King’s: the Inigo Rooms in the East Wing of Somerset House and the Arcade at Bush House. Admission is free and the exhibition is ongoing until 28 April 2018.

Bush House © www.modernclassicisms.com Department of Classics, King’s College London


The Classical Now exhibition pairs the work of modern and contemporary artists with classical Greek and Roman antiquities. Presented in partnership with the award-winning Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins (MACM), the exhibition features works by major twentieth-century artists such as Pablo Picasso and Yves Klein, and leading contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Alex Israel, Louise Lawler, Grayson Perry and Rachel Whiteread alongside classical works. It traces the ways in which Graeco-Roman art has captured and permeated the modern imagination.


Léo Caillard (left) with Dr Michael Squire © www.modernclassicisms.com Department of Classics, King’s College London