Copyright Palace of Westminster
A bronze bust of former Prime Minister Sir John Major, KG, CH by sculptor Anne Curry was unveiled in the Speaker's House on 16 October 2007. The bust was commissioned by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art and is on display in the Members' Lobby, House of Commons.
Hugo Swire MP, Chairman of the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, which commissioned the bust, said: "This is now the third sculpture in the Collection by Anne Curry, the previous two being of Roy Jenkins and Michael Heseltine. We are delighted that Anne agreed to undertake this commission and further delighted that John Major agreed to sit for her. We are now only missing busts of Campbell-Bannerman, Chamberlain and Bonar-Law for the Member's Lobby and then we will be up to date which is quite some achievement."
Sir John Major, KG, CH, born 29 March 1943, was brought up in Brixton, south London and trained to become a banker. From 1968 to 1971 he was a Conservative councillor for the London borough of Lambeth then became MP for Huntingdon at the 1979 election. He later joined the cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and then became Secretary of State to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and then Chancellor of the Exchequer and HM Treasury.
In 1990 Sir John was elected as Leader of the Conservative Party and became Prime Minister, the youngest for a century. In 1992 Sir John led the Conservative Party to a general election victory with an overall majority of 21.
Under his premiership, the poll tax was abolished, the National Lottery was set up and the peace process was restarted in Northern Ireland.
In 1997 the Conservative Party lost the general election to Tony Blair's Labour party and Sir John was replaced as leader of the party by William Hague. Sir John continued as the MP for his Huntingdon constituency until he retired from the House of Commons at the 2001 general election.
The Speaker Michael J Martin commented; "I am honoured to have Sir John Major, his family and friends in Speaker's House for the unveiling of his bust. I am particularly pleased, as we both entered Parliament at the same time, following the 1979 General Election."
The sculptor, Anne Curry was born in Charente, France and was educated in Bordeaux, Paris and Oxford. While studying History of Art, and predominantly Egyptology, she became interested in sculpture. After a successful career in publishing in Paris, she settled in England, where she trained under the tuition of Rosemary Barnett, who until recently was the Principal of the Frink School of Figurative Sculpture in Stoke-on-Trent.
Anne Curry commented; "It has been an exceptional honour and great pleasure not only to sculpt the bust of John Major but also to have my work displayed alongside that of some of the great names of modern sculpture in that very venerable institution, the House of Commons."