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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Advancing the Understanding of Public Statues and Sculpture

Grinling Gibbons (1648–1721) and assistants, Neptune and Galatea, 1701, marble relief 76 x 145cm. Overmantel in the Great Closet at Dalkeith Palace, Scotland. Photo: Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust

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The Public Statues and Sculpture Association (PSSA)

The 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.

PSSA Conference: A new aesthetic or ‘mere decoration’?
Architectural Sculpture in Britain 1850-1914

Don’t miss our first in person (and online) conference!

Co-hosted with the Victorian Society

Saturday 17 September 2022

Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, WC1.

PSSA members in person £40, PSSA Students/U30s etc in person £20; online PSSA Members £25, PSSA Students/ U30s etc £15. PSSA members email office@pssauk.org to book. For the full programme and further details see Events.

Loggia with Reliefs of The Three Ages of Man by Godfrey Sykes, James Gamble and Reuben Townroe. Victoria and Albert Museum, Lecture Block (photo: Andrew Carter)

Sunday 18 September – Kensal Green Cemetery Guided Walk

Sunday morning 18 September, the PSSA and the Victorian Society will be hosting a two hour walking tour of Kensal Green Cemetery conducted by Henry Vivian-Neal and Pablo Cal-Fernández, looking at the history and conservation of selected monuments, followed by tea and coffee in the Dissenters’ Chapel. Please book via Eventbrite. £25 per person.

PSSA Live Visit to Hintze Galleries at V&A, South Kensington

On Friday 1 July at 6. 30 m, during the Friday Late opening at the Victoria and Albert Museum, PSSA members had the chance to attend an event in the Hintze Galleries, where the striking monumental sculpture by Sokari Douglas-Camp had been recently installed. The V&A sculpture curators Kira d’Alburquerque and Melanie Vandenbrouck had overseen this installation and were also present to discuss Sokari’s sculpture. Holly Trusted opened the evening with a brief account of Antonio Canova’s Three Graces, its genesis and how it reflects Canova’s own reputation as the greatest European artist of his time when he received the commission in 1815. Sokari then gave a fascinating account of her contemporary work, Europe supported by Africa and America, especially in the light of recent debates about sculpture with global implications and the history of slavery. PSSA members contributed questions and comments which further opened up the subject. This successful meeting was the first in-person event hosted by the PSSA since the onslaught of the pandemic in 2020, and so was both an historic and highly enjoyable occasion.

Sokari Douglas Camp, Europe supported by Africa and America

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 143 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 CC BY-SA 4.0