The achievements of key codebreaker Bill Tutte have been honounred in the unveiling of a bust at Bletchley Park.
Created by sculptor Gabriella Bollobás, who has donated the artwork to the museum, it sits on display in the exhibition ‘Bill Tutte: Mathematician + Codebreaker’, which opened in April to coincide with the centenary of his birth. Tutte played a significant role in breaking Lorenz, the cipher that was used by the German High Command, and after World War Two became one of the most eminent mathematicians working in combinatorics and graph theory.
Gabriella knew Tutte, who died in 2002, through her husband Béla Bollobás, himself a renowned mathematician. Tutte had sat for the Hungarian artist in his later years, but the new bronze depicts him as a younger man in his 20s, as he would have looked when he worked at Bletchley Park.
She said: “I had only a few photographs to work with but I’m very happy with the piece - it catches his introverted nature. He was a very solitary man. Mathematicians have a very special look, an inward-looking eye, which I discovered some years ago. If I ask directly, they will never sit for me, but they are happy to sit and talk about maths to my husband, so that’s when I work.”