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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Advancing the Appreciation of Public Statues and Sculpture

Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934), Queen Alexandra Memorial (detail), 1926-32, bronze, Marlborough Road, London SW1. Photo: Creative Commons CC BY-SA.4.0

The Public Statues and Sculpture Association (PSSA) encourages engagement with the many thousands of sculptures in the public domain across the UK, which represent an important part of our shared cultural heritage. It champions the historical, artistic and social context of public statues and sculpture, and also promotes education about sculpture, publishing articles, academic papers and specialist books. For more details see About Us.

Please help the PSSA achieve its objectives by becoming a member.

Explore the  PSSA Database –  UK Public Sculptures of Women

Over 100 public statues of women can be found in the UK. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021, the PSSA launched a database of non-royal sculptures representing women of achievement from past and present.

The first statue commemorating a named black woman in the UK; the first female UK Prime Minister; the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons; the first woman to become mayor of a London borough, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia; the first British woman to win all four major tennis tournaments; the first woman apart from members of the royal family to be commemorated in a statue. They can all be found here.

Discover the statues of women in  your local area or tell the PSSA about those which are missing from the database. The 112 statues now on the database is the start, it is not definitive, please help us to keep this interesting resource alive and current.

Martin Jennings FRSS, Mary Seacole, St Thomas’ Hospital, London. Photo: Creative Commons

 

Online Talks: Discovering Women Sculptors

We are pleased to announce two series of online talks ‘Discovering Women Sculptors from the 17th century to the present day’. Generations of women sculptors are gradually being rediscovered and acknowledged. This talented international sisterhood, many of whom have been forgotten, have skilfully practised sculpture through the centuries. Often determined, strong and resilient, they have literally left their chisel marks and fingerprints alongside those of men on the history of sculpture. There are two further talks remaining in the Spring Series.
18 May – Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis, Neoclassicism, and the Negotiations of Place by Professor Kirsten Pai Buick
25 May – ‘I have created nothing really beautiful:’ Augusta Savage’s Practice by Dr Jeffreen Hayes.

For further details see Events. These talks are free for members of the PSSA and £3.50 per talk for non-members, please book via  Eventbrite. The Autumn Series will start on 14 September. Speakers will include Dr Holly Trusted, Erik Bijzet, Professor Paula Murphy, Sir Jonathan Marsden, Dr Jonathan Black, Philip Attwood, Ann Compton and Caroline Stanford.

Slovak Sculptor, Alina Ferdinandy (1926-1974) at work, 1955, photo, Archive, SNG Bratislava.

A Taste of Italy: Three Lectures on Italian Sculpture

Our short Summer Series of talks ‘A Taste of Italy: Three Lectures on Italian Sculpture’ will take place on three consecutive days, 7, 8 and 9 June. They are as follows:

Monday 7 June, Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652-1725), Court Sculptor to Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III by Dr Kira d’Alburquerque, Curator of Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Tuesday 8 June,  From Madonnas to Myths: Alabaster sculptures from Trapani by Dr     Jeremy Warren, Honorary Curator of Sculpture, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and Sculpture Research Curator, The National Trust.

Wedneday 9 June, Picturing Domenico Brucciani: The Man Behind the (Death) Masks by Dr Rebecca Wade, freelance art historian and curator. Brucciani of course being an Italian sculptor working in Britain.

For further details see Events, please book via Eventbrite.

Talks are free for members of the PSSA and £3.50 per talk for non-members

Giovanni Battista Foggini, S. Andrea Corsini guiding the Florentines to Victory at the Battle of Anghiari, 1685-87, marble, Corsini Chapel, Sta Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy. Photo: Dr Kira d’Alburquerque.

Toppling Statues Webinar

The PSSA held a highly successful webinar, Toppling Statues on 23 and 24 November 2020, co-hosted by The Burlington Magazine, which coincided with the Burlington’s annual sculpture issue. It was a lively forum, serious academic debate highlighted the sculptures and their makers, the subjects depicted, their historical, social and economic contexts, and the ways in which these sculptures are viewed today. Further details and edited recordings of the webinar are available on this website. The PSSA’s first publication, Topping Statues,  a selection of the webinar papers has just appeared and can be purchased from our online shop.

The 2021 Marsh Awards for Excellence in Public Sculpture, Fountains and Conservation.

The 2021 Marsh Awards are now closed for nominations and entries. The shortlist will be published on this website and on the PSSA’s social media platforms in the autumn and the winners will be announced in early November.