2016-06-09   facebooktwitterrss

Massey Ferguson Sculpture Comes to Coventry

‘Daniel Massey Bronze’ is tribute to 75 years of the combine harvester which revolutionised farming throughout the world.

Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO, has announced that the Daniel Massey Bronze Sculpture is to be exhibited at the Herbert Museum & Art Gallery in Coventry from 1 June to 25 September 2016.

The sculpture, by John Sherlock OBE ARUA, is a dramatic narrative piece telling the story of a key development in agricultural machinery which went on to revolutionise grain harvesting around the world.

Daniel Massey Bronze Sculpture

The Daniel Massey Bronze Sculpture is on display at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery in Coventry through to September 2016

Farm equipment maker Massey Ferguson commissioned the piece as part of the 2013 celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the launch of the MH-20 self-propelled combine harvester developed by harvesting experts Massey-Harris, forerunners of today’s Massey Ferguson.

Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson’s Director of Marketing Services Europe/Africa/Middle East (EAME), officially handed over the sculpture to Gary Hall, Chief Executive for Culture Coventry at a ceremony at the Herbert Museum & Art Gallery.

The artwork features a 1.4m portrait in bronze of Daniel Massey (1798 -1856), the founder of the Massey side of the business which eventually joined forces with the Harris farm machinery firm in 1891. Daniel is depicted as a blacksmith in 1847 in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada where he first began production of farm implements. Representing the soil and the metal, he is shown with scythe and rake in hand and an anvil at his side gazing almost 100 years into the future. His vision is the 1938 MH-20, the world’s first commercially-successful self-propelled combine harvester, a machine born from his legacy of harvesting equipment expertise. The model of the combine is in 1/25th scale fashioned in bronze and sheet metal.

The M-H 20 SP combine is ranked as among the most important advances in farm machinery. Combining the crop cutting and threshing operations, it ushered in a harvesting revolution - for the first time separating the tractor from the trailed reaper machines. Providing large-area farmers with huge gains in productivity and performance, the machine not only made a massive leap forward in farm mechanisation but also introduced the term ‘combine harvester’.

“75 years of self-propelled harvesting is a significant milestone in the heritage of Massey Ferguson and in the development of farm mechanisation,” remarks Campbell Scott. “The inspiration of Massey-Harris lives on in the innovative spirit and success of Massey Ferguson today. We were determined to produce a symbol which would have enduring significance beyond the 75th anniversary date and which could be enjoyed for years to come. We are thrilled that it is to be displayed in Coventry. Our former tractor plant at Banner Lane helped make Massey Ferguson a worldwide force in farm machinery and AGCO's European Office Facility at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, continues to be an important centre of operations for us today. Our full-line of Massey Ferguson agricultural machinery including tractors, harvesting equipment and implements is used by farmers throughout the world.”

Gary Hall said:
“We’re delighted to bring the Daniel Massey Bronze to the city which has such strong links with Massey Ferguson. The sculpture’s display at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum complements our current ‘Tractors – from factory to field’ exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum inspired by the 70th anniversary of the start of production of the Ferguson TE20 tractor at the Massey Ferguson Banner Lane factory in Coventry.”

Herbert Museum & Art Gallery

Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson's Director of Marketing Services Europe/Africa/Middle East (EAME), officially handed over the sculpture to Gary Hall, Chief Executive for Culture Coventry, at a ceremony at the Herbert Museum & Art Gallery

For John Sherlock, the sculpture was a challenging creative and technical work and took almost two years to complete. Other symbols woven into the artwork include the Massey Harris Company’s first ever factory in Canada, and its first dedicated combine harvester factory in Europe at Kilmarnock, Scotland. This early Canadian-Scottish link is underpinned with illustrations of the Maple Leaf and Thistle entwined in panels around the edge. A Shamrock is also included on these panels, a reference to the brilliant inventor Harry Ferguson from Northern Ireland, widely acknowledged as the ‘father of the modern farm tractor’ and another of the founding names of the Massey Ferguson brand. Harry Ferguson established a tractor factory in Coventry in 1946 and merged with Massey-Harris in 1953 to form Massey-Harris Ferguson. The name was changed to Massey Ferguson in 1958.

AGCO, Massey Ferguson’s parent company, employs nearly 500 people at its European Office facility at Abbey Park Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. The site is a centre for a wide range of functions including Sales and Marketing, Customer Support, Finance and Accounting, Legal Services and IT. It also houses a Training Centre and is the headquarters of Massey Ferguson’s UK and Ireland operations.

Look out for other events running alongside the Coventry Transport Museum’s ‘Tractors – from factory to field’ exhibition including ‘Fields of Joy’, a musical celebration of the tractor around the world, from South Asia and beyond (12 June) and ‘70 Tractors for 70 Years’, a spectacular parade of Massey Ferguson tractors through the city to Millennium Place outside the Coventry Transport Museum (30 July).

Massey ferguson

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