Major General Charles George Gordon (1833-85), also known as Gordon of Khartoum, was widely-celebrated during the nineteenth century for his military victories in China and Sudan, suppressing revolts and local populations. His behaviour was erratic and his fervent Christianity contradicted his often-bloody actions. He was hailed a hero after he was killed defending the city of Khartoum, but his violent behaviour towards the young men with whom he often shared accommodation has since been condemned.
This portrait is a part of the Flux: Parian unpacked, which is a bold installation by ceramic artist and curator Matt Smith, displaying for the first time over 100 busts from the newly-acquired Glynn collection of parian ware. Seeking to understand why Museums and society celebrate some historical figures, but not other, the exhibition challenges established notions of British history and colonialism.
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