pneumonia-induced, unexpected death in August 21, 1921 has
caused much grief from both his friends and critics alike.
He had just turned
45 then. In 1925, a sculpture was erected and unveiled in
his honor. It stands triumphantly, intersecting
William Street and Elizabeth Street.
The Queens Gardens, where the statue is located, faced
constant embellishment from 1905 to 1962, an important
landmark in Brisbane as it
showcases Queensland's history. A square-shaped park, it
is bounded by the streets of William, Elizabeth and George
on the southwestern,
northwestern and northeastern sides. Among the
establishments that are located in Queens Gardens' territory
are the Treasure Building, the
Family Services Building and the former State Library.
The statues of Queen Victoria and Thomas James Ryan in
Queens Gardens are considered as demonstrations of their
historic and governmental association in the state. The
architecture and artifacts in the gardens have been
showcased as evidences of European settlement in the land,
to the vision of landscape architect Harry Oakman.
The statue was made by Australian sculptor Sir Edgar Bertram
Mackennal, who was also responsible for the panels on the
facade of Melbourne
Parliament House and the sculptures “For
she Sitteth on a Seat in the High Places of the City" and
"Diana Wounded." He also designed and produced
for the 1908 Olympic Games in London as well as the
coronation medal, postage stamps and military honors for
King George V. He was also the first Australian artist to be
knighted in 1921.
As reflected to other Mackennal's work, his Statue of Thomas
Ryan is a marvelous work of bronze and granite, standing
firmly on a sandstone base.
The sculpture doesn't focus
solely on his position as a Premier of the state, as
exemplified on the metal plaque that acknowledges his being
"Scholar - Jurist - Statesman."