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Scots philanthropist Carnegie honoured with 3D portrait

Artist Calum Colvin's installation has objects linked to Andrew Carnegie

Artwork celebrating the life of Scots industrialist Andrew Carnegie . Photo credit: SWNS
Artwork celebrating the life of Scots industrialist Andrew Carnegie . Photo credit: SWNS SWNS

By Ian Marland

A Scots artist has created a stunning 3D artwork celebrating the life of industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

Calum Colvin has built an installation using a desk and chair, a collection of books, a globe, a statue of Rabbie Burns, a top hat and an American flag, items which are all significant to Carnegie's history.

The work is taking shape at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline .

Once finished, it will be photographed, framed and displayed on the wall in the manner of a traditional portrait.

Carnegie, who was born in Dunfermline, Fife, but emigrated to America as a child and went on to become the world's richest man, died 100 years ago in August 1919.

The philanthropist, who made his fortune during the steel boom, used his wealth to pay for the construction of libraries and concert halls both in America and Scotland.

The artwork was commissioned for display in the industrialist's home town.

Mr Colvin, 58, a professor of fine art photography, is renowned for making three-dimensional stage sets, which are then painted over.

He has spent around three days a week at the museum working on the artwork, for the past two months.

Artist Calum Colvin with his installation at the  Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline. Photo: SWNS
Artist Calum Colvin with his installation at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline. Photo: SWNS Photo credit: SWNS

The work was commissioned by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, and has been copied from a photograph similar to the one used by legendary pop artist Andy Warhol who also made a portrait of Carnegie in 1981.

Mr Colvin said he had learnt a lot about the philanthropist, who was born in Dunfermline in 1835 and emigrated to Pennsylvania, USA aged 12, in 1848.

Mr Colvin said: "In America his reputation is a little more controversial.

"He was involved in a lot of industrialisation which led to a lot of pollution and there was controversy around strikes, but he also handed out a lot of money.

"Having been the richest man in the world and giving his wealth away is quite incredible."

Mr Colvin added: "I've learned things about Carnegie as I went along.

"There's references to episodes in his life and people can read the final picture and make the connections themselves.

"It's all about the experience of enjoying the art work."

The artist, originally from Glasgow, spreads his time between his studio in Edinburgh and teaching in Dundee at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

The finished artwork will be photographed and displayed on the wall in the manner of a traditional portrait. Photo credit: SWNS
The finished artwork will be photographed and displayed on the wall in the manner of a traditional portrait. Photo credit: SWNS SWNS

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