Guy the gorilla stares into Arthur Steel’s camera.
Note: Image unearthed January 2013.
Arthur recalls: “Guy the Gorilla was at London Zoo and I was absolutely mesmerised by him, I spent hours outside his glass covered cage waiting for him to notice me, and when he did the stare he gave was a truly a most memorable one!”
Camera: Leica 35mm.
Film stock: Kodak Tri-X Pan.
Location: London Zoo.
Print Type: Fibre-based Harman Galerie FB Digital.
Printed by: Metro Imaging.
All prints are limited editions, no further prints are produced once sold.
60″ prints / edition of 5
50″ prints / edition of 10
40″ prints / edition of 20
30″ prints / edition of 30
20″ prints / edition of 50
12″ prints / edition of 50
Bespoke: All prints are bespoke and printed to order.
Presentation: 12 and 20 inch prints are titled, numbered, signed and carefully enfolded in acid free tissue paper, supplied flat in an acid free 4mm 3-ply box for delivery and storage purposes. The boxes are ideal for gift wrapping. The larger 30, 40, 50 and 60 inch prints are also titled, numbered, signed and carefully enfolded in acid free tissue paper and inserted into a rigid 4mm thick protective cardboard tube for delivery.
Delivery: Metro Imaging based in Central London use an experienced shipping service to deliver the boxed and rolled prints. Metro take great care in ensuring the print(s) are very well protected and efficiently delivered anywhere in the UK or overseas. Acid free tissue paper protects prints from scratching/creasing. Metro also offer a vast array of delivery options to suit the recipient’s preference.
Optional Dry Mounting: Professional Dry Mounting of the larger print sizes can be arranged at an additional cost, the print would then be perfectly flat and ready for framing. However, this makes the overall size very bulky for transporting, so, it may be best for us to send a rolled print directly to your framers and let them carry out the works. You just need to make sure that they are insured as we cannot take responsibility for any damages that may occur.
Certificate of Authenticity: Each print acquired from The Arthur Steel Archive is accompanied by an individually signed Certificate of Authenticity.
Video of Authenticity: Newly printed bespoke prints are further authenticated by way of a short personalised video. Arthur Steel mentions your name on the recording prior to signing. For example, Arthur will say something like: “I’m signing this print of ‘Guy the Gorilla’, edition number 2/20 for Mr. Smith in New York.” For your records, the footage is then sent to you via email.
Watermark: Watermarks will not be present on an original print.
Copyright: © Arthur Steel / The Arthur Steel Archive.
Biography: He arrived at the zoo on 5 November 1947, Guy Fawkes night, hence his name. He was a tiny baby, weighing just 23 lb (10 kg) and holding a small tin hot-water bottle.Guy was the replacement for the zoo’s previous gorilla, Meng, who died in 1941. Guy was captured in the French Cameroons on behalf of Paris Zoo and was traded for a tiger from Calcutta Zoo. It was organised that London Zoo would have Guy. The Paris Zoo Director sent instructions to their game department in West Africa to find a suitable female to mate with him.
London sent a request to a variety of animal dealers and zoos worldwide to find a mate, and in 1969 the zoo was offered Lomie, a five year old female who had been living in nearby Chessington Zoo. She lived in the old Monkey House in London Zoo for a year before being introduced to Guy. When the new Ape and Monkey House, the Michael Sobell Pavilion, was opened in 1971, Guy and Lomie were finally introduced. However, after 25 years of isolation, it was too late; they never produced any offspring.
Lowland gorillas are the world’s largest primates. Males can weigh between 140 and 275 kg. His dimensions as silverback were measured in 1966 and 1971: he weighed 520 lb (240 kg), was 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) tall, and had an arm span of 9 ft (2.7 m). His upper arm had a circumference of 23.5 in (58 cm), his thighs 28 in (70 cm), and his neck 36 in (90 cm).
His appearance was fearsome, yet his nature was very gentle; when small birds flew into his cage, he reportedly lifted them up on his hands and examined them softly.This gentleness is said to have been a major part of his great popularity.
Guy died aged over 30 years, in 1978 of a heart attack during an operation on his infected teeth. By this time he had become an icon. Public awareness of animal behaviour had been growing, thanks to the ever-improving natural history programmes on television, while studies of wild apes by scientists like Jane Goodall, Biruté Galdikas and Diane Fossey were changing the public’s attitude towards primates. Guy remains one of London Zoo’s most memorable former inhabitants.