Jeremy Bentham returns to UCL

8th August 2018
Jeremy Bentham
The auto-icon
UCL welcomes home the auto-icon following six months in the USA

Colour photo of Jeremy Bentham's preserved body, from his torso upwards
The famous auto-icon – comprising Bentham’s skeleton, wax head and clothes – is back on display at UCL after appearing in a major exhibition at the Met Breuer museum in New York, alongside artworks by Louise Bourgeois, Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin.

Before travelling to the USA, Bentham’s body underwent significant conservation work.

UCL Culture conservators oversaw a full inspection of the auto-icon, stripping to his underwear for the first time in over 20 years, to check for any damage or pest infestation.

While the auto-icon was on display at the Met Breuer, the team have also been busy working on the wooden box, which is the home of the auto-icon in the university’s South Cloisters. New lighting has been fitted, tested and optimised in the wooden cabinet, so visitors can see Bentham in his best possible light. 

See behind the scenes with our conservators here:

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/s8cS-Xz8Ols

To welcome the auto-icon home, UCL is presenting a new exhibition in the South Cloisters that reveals the myths surrounding Jeremy Bentham. Fake News is curated by Subhadra Das and produced by UCL Culture and the university’s Bentham Project. Together they are researching Bentham’s work and inviting people to engage with his legacy. 
Image of a colourful, rectangular board featuring text. The heading reads 'Fake News: Demystifying Jeremy Bentham'
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