Alexander Stuart Kirkman

Alexander_ Kirkman_Modest_In_Victory_Billy_Bonthrom_Jack_Lovelock_Princeton_1933.jpg (76214 bytes)
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Modest In Victory
-Magnificent in Defeat!
Bill Bonthrom

by Alexander Stuart Kirkman
oil on canvas board 16 by 17.5 inches


Artist Information

name: Alexander Stuart Kirkman
dates: (1912-1989)

education:  Princeton University

Further Biographical Information


Alexander_ Kirkman_Modest_In_Victory_Magnificent_in_Defeat!_Billy_Bonthrom.jpg (58881 bytes)
(click on image to enlarge)
Inscription lower left: 
Modest In Victory - Magnificent in Defeat!
Bill Bonthrom    by A. S. Kirkman '34


About the Painting
   This is a painting of Princeton University track star William Robert (Bonnie) Bonthron (1912-1983) (image left in Princeton colors) and New Zealander Jack Lovelock (image right foreground). The painting depicts Bonthron's historic mile run against Lovelock in what is considered "the greatest mile of all time" or "the mile of the century". The race occurred on July 15, 1933 during the sixth annual Oxford-Cambridge vs Princeton-Cornell track meet held at Princeton University. Bonthron broke the world record for the mile that day (setting the record for an American of 4:08.7) but was beat by Lovelock's 4:07.6 minute new world record mile.

   In 1934 Princeton instituted the Bonthron Torphy in his honor, "awarded annually to that member of the Princeton varsity track and field team who through sportsmanship, performance and influence has contributed most to the sport." In that year Bonthron twice defeated his rival Glenn Cunningham, "The Kansas Ironman," and was awarded the James E. Sullivan Memorial Trophy as "the foremost amateur athlete in the country." 

   Lovelock went on to be a celebrated Olympic champion for his outstanding record-breaking win of the 1500 metres race at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Bonthron did not compete in the Olympics. 

   This was painted by another Princeton alumni, Alexander Stuart Kirkman, who graduated the same year as Bonthrom in 1934. The painting is framed in the Princeton colors of orange and black.


Lovelock/Bonthron's Mile Race 

See a clip of the race on YouTube

Photograph of Jack Lovelock beating Bill Bonthron 
in world record time, 15 Jul 1933 at the
National Library of New Zealand.