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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Nadim Karam (b. 1957)

Beirut-based artist, writer, architect and teacher, born in Senegal. He gained a BA in architecture at the American University of Beirut in 1982, and in 1985 and 1989 respectively, an MA in architecture and a doctorate at the University of Tokyo. He taught architectural design at the American University of Beirut, 1993–95 and 2003–04, and was Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at Notre Dame University in Lebanon, 2000–03. In 1996 founded Atelier Hapsitus, a multi-disciplinary group of Lebanese architects and designers. He has had solo exhibitions, and participated in group exhibitions, worldwide. His book, Stretching Thoughts, was published in 2013. His permanent installation, The Travellers, on Sandridge Bridge, Melbourne, was commissioned by the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government in 2005. Karam describes his work as ‘an optimistic act of rebellion … an affirmation of the power of creativity against the tedium, soullessness or terror that at one time or another afflicts our lives and cities’. His Notting Hill StoriesCarnival Figures and Carnival Elephant were installed at Notting Hill Gate, London, in 1970.

Bibliography: Ayyam Gallery – Artists: Nadim Karam; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 241–42; Nadim Karam website; City of Melbourne – City Collection.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Karam, Nadim

Nadim Karam, 2012 (photo: Martinekiwan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Kenneth Keeble-Smith (fl. 1933 – 1952)

Sculptor, painter and illustrator based in London and latterly, Farnham. He exhibited at the RA several times between 1933 and 1949, animals pre-war and figures post-war, employing a variety of stones and woods. He contributed illustrations to A.C.B. Bellerby’s The Lonely Dog. A True Story (published 1937; reviewed, with a reproduction of one of Keeble-Smith’s line drawings, in the Times Literary Supplement, 1 January 1938, p. 13). His bronze group for the Two Bears Fountain in Kensington Gardens was installed in 1940, stolen in 1967, and replaced with a replica in 1970. In 1952, he completed a stone relief panel, By Our Hands We live, for exterior of the Association for the General Welfare of the Blind offices in Tottenham Court Road (illustrated in The Times, 2 December 1952, p. 5).

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 384–85; The Times, 13 January 1940, p. 10.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Charles J. Samuel Kelsey (1820–1888)

A son of the architectural sculptor James Kelsey, he started out in his father’s workshop, assisting him on the external architectural sculpture for Harvey Lonsdale Elmes’s St George’s Hall, Liverpool (1843–46). Following Elmes’s death in 1847, Kelsey worked in his own right for Elmes’s successor at St George’s Hall, C.R. Cockerell, preparing models for the ceiling of the great hall (1852) and executing decorative works in the small concert room (1854–55). Kelsey had first exhibited at the RA in 1840 and in 1843 entered the RA Schools on the recommendation of the painter William Etty, winning a silver medal in 1845. In 1844, he had submitted two statues, Earl of Shrewsbury and Venerable Bede, to the Westminster Hall exhibition. In 1846, the Society of Arts awarded him a silver medal for a design for an admission ticket to the Society’s rooms. His earliest known independent commission was in 1848 for the sculpture above the doorway of the Royal Insurance Building, Liverpool (demolished). In 1868, he carved four seated allegories for Horace Jones’s Smithfield Market building and in 1880 modelled a bronze relief for the same architect’s Temple Bar Memorial in The Strand. Although living mostly in central London (and occasionally Liverpool), immediately before the probable date of his wall monument to Anne Middleton Corbould and her eldest son, Ridley, in St Mary Abbot’s Church, Kensington (Ridley died in 1878), Kelsey gave his address as 1 Robert (now Sydney) Street, Chelsea.

Bibliography: Builder, 22 July 1882, p. 216; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, p. 226; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1997, pp. 259, 292, 295–96, 303; Mapping Sculpture; I. Roscoe et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 179, 207, 329, 395, 436.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

George Meikle Kemp (1795–1844)

Architect, architectural draftsman and furniture-maker, he was born near Biggar, Lanarkshire, the son of an impoverished shepherd. After working locally as an apprentice carpenter and millwright, he travelled to London and France, but failing to find secure employment he returned c. 1827 to Scotland, where his passion for the architectural antiquities of the Middle Ages became the dominant focus of his work. He produced drawings and models for the architect William Burn, and submitted detailed proposals for the restoration of Glasgow Cathedral, although the failure of the commissioners to give him due credit for these left him embittered. Doubts about his status as an architect were to persist throughout the rest of his career, and cast a shadow over the construction of his masterpiece, the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, which was still incomplete when he accidentally fell into the Union Canal on a dark, foggy evening in March 1844 and was drowned. He was buried with much pomp at St Cuthbert’s graveyard, at the west end of Princes Street, Edinburgh, where his tombstone is carved with a medallion portrait by his friend Alexander Handyside Ritchie.

Bibliography: C. McKean, ‘Kemp, George Meikle [pseud. John Morvo]’, ODNB, 2004; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 2, pp. 154, 226, 228, 230–31, 235–39, 242, 244–46, 248, 251, 253–55, 258, 265–67, 269, 274.

Ray McKenzie 2018

Kemp, George Meikle

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, George Meikle Kemp on the building site of the Scott Monument, 1843/1847, National Galleries of Scotland (photo: Creative Commons CC BY-NC)

Jake Kempsell (b. 1940)

Scottish sculptor and teacher, born in Dumfries and educated at Edinburgh College of Art, where he graduated with a postgraduate diploma in 1965, and later worked as a lecturer. He had his first solo show at the Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, in 1970, and was represented in the British Art Show in 1979–80. Since then he has exhibited widely in the UK and undertaken numerous public commissions. He was a founder trustee of the Scottish Sculpture Trust and a director of Workshops and Artists’ Studio Provision Scotland (Wasps) until 1983. In 1982 he was invited to join the Faculty of Sculpture at the British School at Rome, and was Faculty Visitor there in 1985. He was also Director of Sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, from 1975 to 2000. His marble sculpture, Veil, 1994, is in Gyle Shopping Centre car park, Edinburgh.

Principal source: information provided by the artist.

Bibliography: J. Kempsell, Voids and Constellations (ex. cat), Dundee, 1997, n.p.; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, p. 173; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, p. 49.

Ray McKenzie 2018

Ian Ketchin (d. 2015)

Scottish carver in stone and wood, letter-cutter and musician, he is believed to have been born in Germany, to a family of master wood turners. He studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art, and was active in Edinburgh until c. 1990, when he moved to the Hebridean island of Muck and devoted himself to manufacturing small pipes. He began exhibiting finely crafted wooden artefacts in 1974, and was later employed by the cabinet makers Whytock & Reid, for whom he carved crests for the Thistle Chapel. He had workshops in Craigmillar and Wallyford, East Lothian, and undertook numerous carving commissions, including the replacement of the decayed crockets on the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, in the 1980s. He returned to the mainland from Muck c. 2010, and lived for the remainder of his life in Fort William.

Source: information from Benjamin Tindall, Gardner Molloy, Bob Heath and other former colleagues of Ian Ketchin.

Bibliography: R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 442, 468.

Ray McKenzie 2018

Richard Kindersley (b. 1939)

Sculptor and letterer born in London. He studied at Cambridge School of Art and in the studio of his father, David Kindersley. Since setting up his own studio in London in 1970 he has undertaken major sculpture and lettering commissions for many public and private bodies. His public sculptures include a decorative plaque in lead, 1975, for Northcote House, University of Exeter; The Seven Ages of Man, 1980, a ‘totem pole’ in cold cast aluminium for Baynard House, City of London; The Innocence of Childhood, c.1998, a brick carving giving a child’s eye view of a busy street, on the Raphael Street underpass in Knightsbridge; Two Rivers, c.2001, a brick carving alluding to the location of the site, the Two Rivers shopping centre, Staines, Surrey, at the confluence of the Wraysbury and Colne rivers shortly before their entrance to the Thames; and Emigration Stone, 2002, an upright slab in Caithness stone bearing an inscription commemorating those who departed for the New World at the time of the Highland Clearances in the 1830s and ’40s, Cromarty, Scotland. Kindersley is the winner of seven major brick carving competitions and is a recipient of the Royal Society of Art’s Art for Architecture Award.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 50, 51, 446–47; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, Liverpool, 2000, p. 238; Richard Kindersley website; G.T. Noszlopy and F. Waterhouse, Public Sculpture of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, Liverpool, 2010, pp. 207–08; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 3, 4, 9–10, 310, 383.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Shona Kinloch (b. 1962)

Figurative sculptor and animalier, born in Glasgow, and now living in East Kilbride. As a sculpture student at Glasgow School of Art (1980–85) she became ‘interested in the formal implications of anatomical exaggeration’, citing Aristide Maillol, Frank Dobson and Marino Marini as key influences. Since the installation of her first permanent public work in bronze, Thinking of Bella, in the Italian Centre, Glasgow, in 1990, she has contributed figure and animal sculptures to regeneration projects in towns throughout Scotland, including Kilmarnock (Kilmarnock Swimmers, Twa Dogs and Binmen, 1995), East Kilbride (Charming, 1996), and Hamilton (The Square Stars, 1998), as well as major works in towns elsewhere in the UK, such as Loughborough (The Sock, 1998) and Morecambe (Seagulls, 1999). In 2002 she embarked on an extended collaboration with the cruise company Royal Caribbean International, producing bronze pool-side and deck sculptures for liners such as MS Navigator of the Seas, most of them, like Sheepshape and Tartan Fashion, exploiting the sculptor’s trademark whimsical humour. Kinloch has received numerous prestigious awards, including one from the Saltire Society (1992) and one from the Association of Landscape Industries (1999).

Principal source: CV provided by the artist.

Bibliography: Anon, Shona Kinloch (Charnwood Borough Council leaflet), 1998; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, Liverpool, 2000, pp. 214–16; D.A. Cross, Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria, Liverpool, 2017, p. 85; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 140–41, 401, 430–31, vol. 2, pp. 461–62; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, pp. 218, 359, 408, 422, 449.

Ray McKenzie 2018

Jean-Baptiste Jules Klagmann (1810–1867)

Sculptor and decorative designer, born and died in Paris. He entered Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts in 1828 and was taught by the sculptors Jules Ramey (1796–1852) and Jean-Jacques Feuchère (1807–1852). The latter’s small-scale, Renaissance-inspired domestic sculpture exerted the stronger influence on Klagmann’s work, he and Feuchère dominating the market in such luxury pieces in the 1840s. Klagmann made his debut at the Salon in 1831 with a plaster bas-relief, The attack of the Titans on Jupiter. His marble Saint Clotilde, Queen of France (1847), for the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, is a rare example of an independent statue within his oeuvre. For the most part, his commissions were for the decoration of fountains and buildings. In 1844, he modelled four tritons and four female figures representing the Seine, the Loire, the Garonne and the Saône, for Louis Visconti’s Fontaine Louvois, Square Louvois, Paris; in 1848, relief busts of King René and Petrarch for the façade of the theatre at Avignon; and in 1863, a pediment sculpture, Le Chant et la Musique, for the theatre at Toulon. According to some sources he spent some time in London; this may have been around the time of South Kensington’s International Exhibition of 1862. He certainly designed and modelled the figures for the grand fountain which Antoine Durenne submitted to the exhibition (and which was erected in the adjacent Royal Horticultural Gardens), and he was one of a group of thirty French artists who were sufficiently concerned about maintaining the standards of French craftsmanship that in 1864 they founded the Union centrale des beaux-arts appliqués à l’industrie, with Klagmann its first honorary president. As for the fountain, it remained in the gardens until the spring of 1863; it was subsequently purchased, minus its outlying figures (evidently for reasons of cost), by Scottish businessman Daniel Ross who gifted it to the city of Edinburgh where – thereafter known as the Ross Fountain – it was erected in Princes Street Gardens in 1872. Klagmann’s final appearance at the Salon was in 1866, with his model for An Amazon, a stone figure commissioned for a niche on the former Palais du Louvre (now on the Louvre’s Marsan pavilion). He was appointed chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1853.

Bibliography: La Chronique des arts et de la curiosité: supplément à la Gazette des beaux-arts, no. 169 (27 January 1867), p. 27 (obit.); R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 2, pp. 324–27; J. Turner (ed.), The Dictionary of Art, Basingstoke, 1996, vol. 11, pp. 42, 622, vol. 22, p. 191; Wikipédia; Wikiphidias – L’Encyclopédie des sculpteurs français du XIVe au XIXe.

Terry Cavanagh October 2023

Klagmann, Jean-Baptiste Jules

Jean-Baptiste Jules Klagmann, engraving by Lafosse, 1866 (photo: public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Fritz Koenig (1924–2017)

Sculptor born in Würzburg, Germany. He studied at the Akademie der Künste, Munich, 1946–52. During a stay in Paris in 1951, he began working on forms derived from African sculpture, which he began to collect. In the mid-1950s, he produced a group of sculptures under the general title, Cattle, which were influenced by the early sculptures of Ewald Mataré (1887–1965). In 1957, Koenig won a scholarship to study at the Villa Massimo, the German Academy at Rome, his work on the theme of the ‘Quadriga’ dating from this period. For the German pavilion of the 1958 Brussels World Fair, he created two sculptures in bronze, Golgotha and Maternitas. In the early 1960s, he received several major religious commissions, including a relief representing The Creation for the main door of Würzburg Cathedral. During the 1960s, he moved from stylised figurative work to abstract sculpture heavily laden with symbolism. Sculptures from these years include his stelae and caryatid forms which developed into the series entitled Flora and Mona; his Great Flora L stands outside the German Embassy, Chesham Place, London. In 1964, he began teaching at the Technische Universität, Munich. Towards the end of the 1960s, he was commissioned to design a sculpture for the World Trade Center, New York. Installed in 1971, The Sphere (‘Kugelkaryatide N.Y.’) was the only work of art on the site to survive the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001; the work was restored and installed in nearby Battery Park as a memorial to the victims. Koenig said: ‘It was a sculpture; now it’s a memorial. Now it has a different kind of beauty, one I never could have imagined. It has a life of its own – different from the one I gave it.’ He died, aged 92, at Landshut, Germany, in 2017. In the following year, a major retrospective of Koenig’s work was held at the Uffizi and the Boboli Gardens in Florence.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, p. 274; ‘Sculptor Fritz Koenig of WTC fame dies at 92’, 23 February 2017, Deutsche Welle; Oxford Art Online – Grove Art Online; Peggy Guggenheim Collection; Wikipedia.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Koenig, Fritz

Fritz Koenig at the Skulpturenmuseum in Hofberg Landshut on the occasion of the screening of Percy Adlon’s newly revised 1979 film, ‘Nebenbei hauptsächlich Rösser’on 15 October 2015. This film documents the first encounter between the director and Koenig, which was followed by a further four films about the life and work of the artist by director Percy Adlon with cameraman Pit Kochs. (photo: Peter Litvai, Landshut: CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Frank Kovacs (active 1938–1962; d. 1965)

Hungarian-born sculptor, mostly of portrait busts. He moved to Canada and trained as a minister (in the USA) to help his older brother establish a congregation of the Reformed (Calvinist) Church of Hungary in Brantford, Canada. After his brother’s death, Kovacs moved to England and exhibited in London (RA, 1938–62) and Paris. In 1955 he modelled a portrait bust of Alexander Fleming, one cast is in the Royal College of Physicians, another, unveiled in Chelsea Library in 1956 by Lady Amelia Fleming, has been on long-term loan to St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, since 1993. Kovacs’ Memorial to the Victims of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 was unveiled on the frontage of the Polish Hearth Club, 55 Prince’s Gate, South Kensington, in 1960. He died of cancer in 1965.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 315–17, 472; KöztérképMapping Sculpture.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022