Portrait of Stephen Hawking by Fred Cuming

Made:
2003
Fred Cuming, R.A. (B

Fred Cuming, R.A. (B
Science Museum Group
© Fred Cuming R.A.

Fred Cuming, R.A. (B. 1930), Portrait, signed 'Cuming' (lower left) oil on canvas board, 20 x 20in.

This portrait of Stephen Hawking was one of a series that Stephen commissioned from Frederick Cuming in 2006 for display at the National Portrait Gallery. Stephen loved the work of Cuming, and owned other artwork by him. This particular portrait was kept at home and never displayed inside his office, but became part of the Stephen Hawking's Office collection.

Of all portraits, this is the one he liked most, as best representative of his personality. In contrast to other portraints, this one features Stephen's mischievous smile, and shows him engaged with the world rather than in solemn thinking. Cuming's portraits are also remarkable in their casual display of Stephen's tracheostoma, acknowledging his disability but not making it an overbearing feature.

Details

Category:
Stephen Hawking Office
Collection:
Stephen Hawking’s Office
Object Number:
2021-561/410
Materials:
oil paint on canvas, paper (fibre product), wood (unidentified), metal (unknown) and string
Measurements:
overall: 630 mm x 630 mm x 35 mm, 1.25 kg
type:
portrait
credit:
Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by H M Government from the Estate of Stephen Hawking and allocated to the Science Museum, 2021