This white marble statue of Victoria and Albert was commissioned by Thomas Storey to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. It was completed in 1891, and the building was designed to accommodate it, both in the surrounding decorative niche, and the supporting structure in the room beneath the gallery.
The sculptor was Percy Wood. He was educated at University College, London, where he studied medicine. He later turned to sculpture, following his father, Marshall Wood. There are examples of his public pieces in England, Ireland, and Canada.
This sculpture in the Storey is most unusual in that it represents both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. We do not know if there are others, and would appreciate information on the existence of any such pieces.
We encouraged artists to include the couple in their exhibitions, and we made temporary additions to connect with an exhibition.
In 2006-08, for one of our offsite commissions, artist Jason Minsky travelled the length and breadth of the UK searching out other public statues of Victoria and Albert. He took a polaroid photo of each Queen's eye-view and sent it as a postcard back to the couple in the gallery. He also photographed each statue and produced a collage poster with one side showing all these statues, with the date and location of each. The other side showed a map of their locations radiating from the gallery in the Storey Institute. There are pictures from his project here.