Wednesday 21 April 2010


A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Eric Gill plaque of Ernest Rutherford that Russian physicist Pyotr Kapitza commissioned for the Mond Laboratory at Cambridge University in the early 1930s.

My blog post was a retelling of Chapter 7 in Mark Oliphant's Rutherford: Recollections of the Cambridge Days , which told the story of the controversy that surrounded Gill's portrait of Rutherford, after members of the faculty decided that the nose was too "Jewish".

I noted at the time that while I could find images of Gill's second work (a scraffito of a crocodile - Kapitsa's nickname for Rutherford) online, there were none available for the Rutherford plaque, making me wonder if it had disappeared.

A friend took up the cause, spoke to another friend, who spoke to another friend, who went out with a camera - the end of product of which being that I can now very happily present the following:

With thanks to Anthony Fox for the photographs, and Nat Torkington for the connections.

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