Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi (1924–2005)
Sculptor, printmaker, collage artist, ceramicist, mosaic designer, film-maker and teacher. He was born in Leith, Scotland, the son of an immigrant Italian ice-cream seller, with whom he was interned as an enemy alien in Saughton jail when Italy declared war in 1940. On his release he studied calligraphy at Edinburgh College of Art, and then, after a period of conscription, enrolled at the Slade School of Art, London. In 1947 he moved to Paris, where his contact with the artists of the Dada and Surrealist movements encouraged him to adopt the techniques of montage and assemblage, as well as the attitude of critical irreverence, that would form the bedrock of his mature practice as an artist. He returned to the UK in 1949, and two years later was commissioned to make a fountain for the Festival of Britain, his first important public work. In 1952 he helped to establish the Independent Group, whose discussions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, explored the relevance to art of science, technology and, most importantly for the development of British Pop Art, the mass media and advertising. His first solo exhibition in the UK was at the Mayor Gallery, London, in 1947, and his work was also represented at the 1952 Venice Biennale, as well as in the ground-breaking ‘This is Tomorrow’ exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956. Among the vast number of public commissions he carried out over the subsequent half century, one of the best known is the series of mural panels he designed for Tottenham Court Road tube station (completed in 1985; partially restored in 2015, with some panels acquired by the University of Edinburgh), which adapted the complex decorative geometry of his silkscreen prints to the requirements of mosaic. A similar abstract idiom was used in the four doors in cast aluminium he made for the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow (1976–80). More specifically figurative commissions include the cast-iron Anton Bruckner at Linz, Austria (1977); the bronze Master of the Universe in Kowloon Park, Hong Kong (1987–88); and Newton after William Blake, also in bronze, outside the British Library, London (1995). An artist of prodigious versatility, and with an encyclopaedic range of interests, he also had an immense influence on art education, occupying teaching posts at different times in London, Cologne and Munich, as well as serving as Artist-in-Residence at the University of St Andrews in 1979. He was appointed Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland in 1986, and was knighted in 1989. Towards the end of his life he began to renew his professional and personal ties with Edinburgh, and in 1994 gifted a collection of 3,800 sculptures and fragments, together with his library of 3,000 books, to the National Galleries of Scotland. A reconstruction of his studio, designed by his former assistant Nick Gorse, now forms the centrepiece of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s Modern Two, the former Dean Gallery, Edinburgh.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 45, 235–37, 449–51; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 177–78; F. Lloyd et al, Public Sculpture of Outer South and West London, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 247–48; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 383–86, 418–20, 437, vol. 2, pp. xviii, 7, 82, 174–79; F. Pearson, ‘Paolozzi and Freedom’, Scottish Society for Art History Newsletter, no. 44, winter 2013/14, pp. 7-10; E. Whitford, The Guardian, 22 April 2005 (obit.).
Ray McKenzie 2018
Patric Park (1811–1855)
Sculptor, born in Glasgow, the son of a mason, he served as an apprentice stonecutter on the construction of Hamilton Palace (now demolished), where he carved the Hamilton family arms over the main entrance. Under the Duke of Hamilton’s patronage he travelled to Rome at the age of twenty, studying for two years with Bertel Thorwaldsen, from whom he acquired a vigorous and expressive style and a taste for the heroic nude. He returned to the UK in 1833, settling first in Edinburgh and then in London, where he established a high reputation as a portraitist, counting many leading contemporary figures among his subjects, including Lord Macaulay (RA 1836; marble, 1843, Wallington, Northumberland), Lord Jeffrey (Royal Scottish Academy [RSA] 1840; National Portrait Gallery), Charles Dickens (RSA 1842), and Napoleon III (1855; V&A). A perceptive writer on sculpture and other aspects of art, he was also frequently involved in controversy. In 1846, the Art Union rejected his statue of Modesty Unveiled as too sensual to be used as a competition prize, and in the same year he became entangled in a dispute over a group of statues he had modelled for the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, but which were never used. Further difficulties arose over his private undertaking to raise a fifteen-foot (4.57m) statue of William Wallace in Edinburgh, the failure of which left him financially compromised. In 1852, he moved to Manchester, where he died of a haemorrhage after trying to help a porter lift a large hamper of ice in Warrington station.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1997, pp. 203, 204; J.M. Gray (rev. D. King), ‘Park, Patric’, ODNB, 2004; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 129, 308, 355, 358, vol. 2, pp. 242, 256, 258, 262, 305, 519, 520; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, p. 300; T. Wyke, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004, p. 134.
Ray McKenzie 2018
Kenneth McLeay, Patric Park, posthumous portrait, 1859, watercolour on paper, Scottish National Portrait Gallery (photo: public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Harold Wilson Parker (1896–1980)
Sculptor and medal-maker, born in Newington, south London. He studied art at, successively, Walthamstow School of Art, St Martin’s School of Art, Central School of Arts and Crafts, Sir John Cass School of Art and the Royal College of Art. From the 1940s until at least 1955 he taught at Goldsmiths’ College, his considerable skills as a teacher fondly recalled many years later by the sculptor Charlotte Mayer. His bronzed plaster standing nude Flossie remains on display at Goldsmiths’. Parker exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1925–47. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1944, a Fellow in 1946, Council member, 1948–49, and president, 1953–58. His most famous work – albeit his authorship is scarcely known – was undoubtedly the wren design on the reverse of the farthing coin, which was commissioned in 1937 and remained in use until the coin ceased to be legal tender in 1960. His George Lansbury Memorial plaque was commissioned for Hyde Park Lido Pavilion in 1951.
Bibliography: D. Buckman, Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 311–14; R. Cocke, Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, Liverpool, 2013, p. 21; T. Flynn, Charlotte Mayer. In Essence (Pangolin Gallery), 2013, p. 26; Mapping Sculpture.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Sir Joseph Noël Paton (1821–1901)
Painter of historical, religious, literary and allegorical subjects in a finely detailed Pre-Raphaelite idiom, and a leading exponent of the Victorian genre of fairy painting, achieving huge success with such works as The Fairy Raid (1867). Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, the son of a damask manufacturer and antiquarian, he was one of a distinguished family of artists that included his two siblings, the painter Waller Hugh Paton and the sculptor Amelia Hill, and his nephew, the sculptor Waller Hubert Paton. Despite his success as a painter (he was appointed Her Majesty’s Limner for Scotland in 1865 and knighted two years later), he nurtured a lifelong, but largely unrealised, ambition to be a sculptor, submitting ambitious designs for public schemes such as the National Wallace Monument in 1858 and the Memorial of the War of Independence in 1859, both of which were unsuccessful. He was, however, almost certainly the designer of the allegorical relief panels of the ‘Ruder Arts’, the ‘Fine Arts’ and the ‘Sciences’, carved by William Birnie Rhind over the central entrance bay of the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (completed 1893). There is evidence that he resented the success of his sister, and actively tried to discourage her from pursuing her career as a sculptor.
Bibliography: N. Bown, ‘Paton, Sir (Joseph) Noël’, ODNB, 2004; A.C. Lennie, ‘Amelia and Joseph Noël Paton: a sibling rivalry’, Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History, vol. 21, 2016–17, pp. 13–20; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 2, pp. 38, 224–25, 280, 354–56.
Ray McKenzie 2018
Thomas Annan, Sir Joseph Noel Paton,
photograph, 1866, National Portrait Gallery
(photo: public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Waller Hubert Paton (1863–1941)
Sculptor, printmaker and painter of wildlife subjects, he was the son of Waller Hugh Paton (1828–1895) and the nephew of Sir Joseph Noel Paton (1821–1901), both distinguished painters. According to the Scotsman, he was educated ‘in Edinburgh at the Academy, the Institution, and University, and also attended the School of Art, and the R.S.A. life class’, establishing a practice as a sculptor in Edinburgh in 1896 after several years hunting and painting big game in Colorado, USA. He produced numerous busts, figurative reliefs and medals, and among his public works are a recumbent figure of Robert the Bruce in marble, freestone and wood at St Conan’s Kirk, Lochawe, Argyll and Bute, Scottish Highlands (1896), and the bronze Princess Louise’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders South African War Memorial at Stirling Castle (1907).
Sources: W.T. Johnston, Dictionary of Scottish Artists (c.2000), Scottish National Library, ref CD-ROM.585; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 46–47, 51, vol. 2, pp. 346, 347; Scotsman, 1 February 1941, p. 6 (obit.).
Ray McKenzie 2018
(Alfred) Bertram Pegram (1873–1941)
Sculptor. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools, 1895–99, winning prizes in each year (including silver medals in 1896 and 1899), and also in Paris. He was among the sculptors selected by Aston Webb to carve relief figures for the façades of the Victoria and Albert Museum extension in 1905; Pegram’s were John Flaxman and Francis Chantrey, both Cromwell Road. His most important commission was for the bronze figures on Sir Ninian Comper’s Welsh National War Memorial, 1928, Cardiff. He also executed the Memorial to Mary Brinsmade Brown, Gunn Memorial Library, Washington, Connecticut (illus. The Studio, December 1915, p. 191). Examples of his work are in the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff. He was an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors from 1905 (Fellow from 1938) and a Member of the Art Workers’ Guild from 1906. He was a cousin of Henry Alfred Pegram.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, p. 322; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 125, 126; Mapping Sculpture; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, p. 101; G.M. Waters, Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900–1950, Eastbourne, 1975; Royal Academy of Arts website and archives.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Henry Alfred Pegram (1862–1937)
Sculptor. He studied at the West London School of Art, then in 1881 entered the Royal Academy Schools where he was awarded prizes in 1882, 1884, and 1886. On leaving the RA Schools he worked for four years as an assistant in Hamo Thornycroft’s studio. Pegram was a member of the Art Workers’ Guild, 1890–1904, and was elected Associate Royal Academician in 1904 and Royal Academician in 1922. From 1884 to 1936 he showed 160 works at the RA summer exhibitions. In 1891, he was a founder member of the Chelsea Arts Club. Two examples of Pegram’s earlier work, in which he shows the influence of Alfred Gilbert, and which are generally considered to be among his most important, are a bronze relief, Ignis fatuus; 1889, and a marble group, Sibylla fatidica, 1904, both Chantrey Bequest purchases for the Tate Gallery. The authorship of the Monument to Ninon Michaelis, 1903, Kensal Green Cemetery, was forgotten until Glenn Benson’s research in the 2000s reconnected it to Pegram; as recently as 2001 the monument’s high quality had convinced scholars that it could only be by a continental sculptor. In 1909–11, Pegram executed a series of Portland stone figures for the exterior of Basil Champneys’ Rhodes Building, Oriel College, Oxford, including Cardinal Newman and Cecil Rhodes, the latter of which was the subject of an unsuccessful 2016 student campaign to have it removed on the grounds that the statue amounted to a celebration of British colonialism. In 1913, Pegram was one of ten sculptors selected to provide statues for Cardiff City Hall, his contribution being Llewellyn the Last Prince. Other public sculptures by Pegram include Into the Silent Land, 1905, Golder’s Green Crematorium; Sir Thomas Browne, 1905, Hay Hill, Norwich; Sir John Campbell, 1906, Auckland, New Zealand; Monument to Edith Cavell, 1917, Tombland, Norwich; the crowning ‘Victory’ figure on the Cunard War Memorial, 1921, Liverpool; and Hylas, 1922, St John’s Lodge, Regent’s Park. He was a cousin of Alfred Bertram Pegram.
Sources: S. Beattie, The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 219–20, 322, 478–79; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1997, pp. 143–46; R. Cocke, Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, Liverpool, 2013, pp. 17–18, 30–32; D.A. Cross, Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria, Liverpool, 2017, pp. 102–03; J.S. Curl (ed.), Kensal Green Cemetery, Chichester, 2001, pp. 180, 212, 213, 241; Mapping Sculpture; G.T. Noszlopy, Public Sculpture of Birmingham (ed. J. Beach), Liverpool, 1998, pp. 133–34; R. Sharp, ‘Pegram, Henry Alfred (1862–1937)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 91, 92, 101, 404–05; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, p. 132; Welsh Historical Sculpture: Welsh Historical Sculpture presented to the City of Cardiff by Lord Rhondda of Llanwern … on the 27th October 1916, Cardiff, 1916; T. Wyke, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004, pp. 101, 127.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Henry Alfred Pegram, Elliott and Fry, albumen cabinet card, c. 1903 (photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London)
Frances Pelly (b. 1947)
Scottish sculptor, whose work encompasses traditional carving and modelling, natural materials and text, and who frequently collaborates with writers. Born in Edinburgh, she studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, where she gained a Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in sculpture (1971), and at Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh (1973). She taught at Duncan of Jordanstone and Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, from 1974 to 1983, but later moved to Orkney, where she now works as a freelance artist. She has exhibited widely in Scotland, and her public commissions include a life-size female figure in bronze for the war memorial at Sanquhar, Dumfries & Galloway (1983), and Memorial to Susannah Alice Stephen, James Court, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh (1999–2000).
Bibliography: D.A. Cross, Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria, Liverpool, 2017, p. 177; W.T. Johnston, Dictionary of Scottish Artists (c.2000), Scottish National Library, ref CD-ROM.585; P.J.M. McEwan, The Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, 2004; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 265–66; Royal Scottish Academy: Frances Pelly RSA.
Ray McKenzie 2018
John Birnie Philip (1824–1875)
Sculptor, born in London. He entered the Government School of Design at Somerset House in 1842 at the age of 17. His tutor, the painter J.R. Herbert, introduced him to Pugin who employed him in his wood carving department at the Houses of Parliament. Philip visited Rome, 1848–49. He enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with George Gilbert Scott and executed for him sculpture for church restorations, e.g., Evangelist figures and St Michael overcoming Satan tympanum relief for St Michael Cornhill, c.1856–1860; the font, reredos, and Katherine Parr Monument for St Mary’s Church, Sudeley, Gloucestershire, 1859–63; and the figures on the crossing screen (manufactured by F. Skidmore) at Lichfield Cathedral, 1859–63. He also executed sculpture for Scott’s public monuments, e.g., the Westminster Scholars Crimean War Memorial, 1859–61, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster; and the Albert Memorial, 1862–72; and also sculptures for Scott’s buildings, e.g., the spandrel reliefs (shared with H.H. Armstead) on the Colonial Office at Whitehall, 1873–75. Philip also worked for Francis Butler, modelling a figure of Peace, 1871–73, for his fountain in West Smithfield Gardens, City of London. In addition, he executed a handful of public statues: Richard Oastler, 1869, Bradford; Robert Hall, 1870, Leicester; and Colonel Akroyd, 1875, Akroydon, near Halifax. This last was completed, following Philip’s death from bronchitis, by his chief assistant modeller, Ceccardo Egidio Fucigna; other known assistants in his large studio include Robert Glassby and Edwin Roscoe Mullins. Birnie Philip lived at 1 Roehampton Place, Vauxhall Bridge Road (c.1858–c. 1863); West Pavilion, Hans Place (c.1867– c.1870); and Merton Villa, 280A King’s Road (c.1871–1875). Two oil-on-board paintings by James Digman Wingfield of the interior of his studio at Merton Villa are held at Chelsea Library. These were presented by Philip’s younger daughter, Rosalind, his executrix; his older daughter, Beatrice, was married to the architect E.W. Godwin and following his death, to the painter James McNeil Whistler. Birnie Philip is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.
Bibliography: The Academy, 13 March 1875, p. 278 (obit. by W.M. Rossetti); Art Journal, 1 May 1875, p. 144 (obit.); T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 62–64, 406–14, 416–18, 419–20, 421, 428, 429, 430, 431, 433, 434, 473; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, Liverpool, 2000, pp. 86, 90–91; Illustrated London News, 13 March 1875, p. 258 (obit.); London Reader, 10 April 1875, p. 564 (obit.); Mapping Sculpture; G.T. Noszlopy and F. Waterhouse, Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, Liverpool, 2005, p. 224; Oxford Art Online – Grove Art Online; I. Roscoe et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009; J. Seddon et al, Public Sculpture of Sussex, Liverpool, 2014, pp. 15–16; M. Stocker, ‘Philip, John Birnie (1824–1875)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 40, 89–90, 436–38; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 11–13; T. Wyke, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004, pp. 218, 222.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Charles James Pibworth (1878–1958)
Sculptor and painter born in Barton Regis, Gloucestershire (now part of Bristol). He studied initially at Bristol School of Art, in c.1897 winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art and in 1899 entering the Royal Academy Schools (Landseer Scholarship 1901). Pibworth was a regular exhibitor at the RA and Royal West of England Academy (associate member of the latter from c.1904 and professional member from c.1910). He was a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors from 1907 and of the Art Workers’ Guild from 1910. Pibworth worked chiefly as an architectural sculptor in stone and, in the first decade of the twentieth century worked frequently for the architect Charles Holden, including executing allegorical figures for the Law Society Extension, Carey Street, City of London (1902–04); relief panels of figures from English literature for Bristol Central Library (1905) and Euterpe for the Orchestral Association building, Archer Street, Westminster (1912). He was a resident of Chelsea for most of his adult life – at 14A Cheyne Row, c.1904–c.1943, and subsequently at 295 King’s Road.
Bibliography: S. Beattie, The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, p. 27; Mapping Sculpture; D. Merritt and F. Greenacre, with K. Eustace, Public Sculpture of Bristol, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 72, 73, 74; Royal Academy of Arts website; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 80, 81; Who Was Who.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Enzo Plazzotta (1921–1981)
Sculptor. He was born in Mestre, near Venice, and studied at the Brera Academy in Milan, where one of his tutors was Giacomo Manzù. He was active in the Partisan movement during the Second World War, and at the end of the war was commissioned by the Italian Liberation Committee to create a statuette as a token for the assistance given to the movement by British Special Forces. This work, entitled The Spirit of Rebellion, showed the young David with the head of Goliath, and was presented to the Special Forces Club. Plazzotta came to London in connection with this commission, and lived here for the rest of his life. Between 1947 and 1962 he relinquished sculpture, returning to it at first principally as a portraitist. However, his main interest was the expression of movement and vitality in human and animal bodies. Dance, and particularly ballet, is a predominant feature of his work, and some of his dance pieces possess special interest as representations of celebrity performers. Plazzotta’s religious and mythological subjects are more sombre in character. He always retained contact with Italy, and in 1967 took a studio in Pietrasanta, from which he was able to supervise the casting of his many bronzes at the Tommasi foundry. During the 1980s, following his death, three of Plazzotta’s sculptures were erected in the public domain across London; Homage to Leonardo in Belgrave Square in 1984, Jeté at 48 Millbank in 1985, and Young Dancer in Broad Court, Covent Garden in 1988. The Homage to Leonardo, taking the form of a Vitruvian Man, was originally offered to Leonardo’s Italian birthplace, Vinci, but not accepted.
Bibliography: D. Buckman, Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol (1998), 2nd edn. 2006; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 32, 269–70; J. Seddon et al, Public Sculpture of Sussex, Liverpool, 2014, pp. 77–78; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 30, 31; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 10–11, 159, 412–13.
Philip Ward-Jackson 2023
Enzo Plazzotta (photo: © courtesy of Chris Beetles Gallery, St James’s, London)
Lucy Poett (b. 1943)
Sculptor and painter, she was born in Edinburgh and studied at the Heatherly School of Art, London, before returning to Scotland to help run the family farm near Dundee. After completing her education at Dundee College of Art under Scott Sutherland, she established a studio in Chelsea, London, where she undertook numerous portrait commissions. As a sculptor she is best known for her small-scale studies in resin bronze of animals, including livestock, domestic pets and wildlife, but she has also undertaken more monumental works, such as Sandy Irvine Robertson (2000), on The Shore, Edinburgh, and The Highland Drover (2011), at Dingwall, Ross & Cromarty. She regularly exhibits at the Royal Scottish Academy, and is an Associate of the Royal Society of Sculptors.
Bibliography: W.T. Johnston, Dictionary of Scottish Artists (c.2000), Scottish National Library, ref CD-ROM.585; P.J.M. McEwan, The Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 2004; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 2, pp. 404–06; Polly’s Pantry: Art Gallery – Lucy Poett.
Ray McKenzie 2018
Frederick William Pomeroy (1856–1924)
Sculptor born in London. From c.1877 to 1880, he served an apprenticeship with a firm of architectural carvers, while in the evenings attending the South London Technical Art School, learning modelling under Jules Dalou and W.S. Frith. Pomeroy attended the Royal Academy Schools, 1881–85, winning, in his final year, the Gold Medal and Travelling Studentship. He travelled to France and Italy, studying in Paris under Emmanuel Frémiet and Antonin Mercié. In 1888, as one of several sculptors working under the overall supervision of his former tutor, Frith, Pomeroy executed ‘Australia’, one of four allegorical groups on Doulton & Co’s Victoria Fountain in Glasgow. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1885; with the Arts and Crafts Society from 1888; and was a medallist at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. He executed sculpture for a number of architects, notably J.D. Sedding, in Holy Trinity, Sloane Street, Chelsea, 1890s, and E.W. Mountford, on Paisley Town Hall, 1890; Sheffield Town Hall, 1890–94; Liverpool Museum Extension and Central Technical School, 1896–1901; and the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London, 1905–06 (the famous gilt bronze Justice surmounting the dome is Pomeroy’s). His portrait statues include Dean Hook, 1900, Leeds; W.E. Gladstone, 1900, Houses of Parliament; and Monsignor Nugent, 1906, Liverpool. His most famous ideal sculpture is probably Perseus (shown at the Royal Academy 1898; life-size bronze in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; numerous reductions). He was a Member of the Art Workers’ Guild from 1887 (Master in 1908); was elected Associate Royal Academician 1906 and Royal Academician 1917; and in 1911 was a founding member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors. Pomeroy resided at 15 Kensington Square from c.1908 until his death and ran studios at 1 Wentworth Studios, Manresa Road, Chelsea, c.1892 to 1905, and 15 Douro Place, Victoria Road, Kensington, 1905–c.1910.
Bibliography: S. Beattie, The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 95–98, 99, 100, 101, 230–32, 337–39; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, Liverpool, 2000, p. 298; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1997, pp. 5–10, 180–82, 287–89; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 121, 125–27, 153–54, 157–58, 246–47; D.A. Cross, Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria, Liverpool, 2017, pp. 65–66; A.S. Gray, Edwardian Architecture, London, 1985; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 2, pp. 294–99; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, pp. 166, 167; Mapping Sculpture; E. Morris and E. Roberts, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, Liverpool, 2012, pp. 66, 84–86; G.T. Noszlopy and F. Waterhouse, Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, Liverpool, 2005, p. 39; M. Stocker, ‘Pomeroy, Frederick William (1856–1924)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 62, 63–65, 66, 88–89, 181–82; D. White and E. Norman, Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool, 2015, pp. 186–88, 190–91; Who Was Who; T. Wyke, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004, pp. 271, 285–86.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Robert Anning Bell, Frederick William Pomeroy, 1908. Painted to mark Pomeroy’s year as Master of the Art Workers’ Guild. (Photo: public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Percival (Percy) Herbert Portsmouth (1874–1953)
Sculptor specialising in portraits and figurative monuments. Born in Reading, he worked as an engineer before studying at the Royal College of Art, London, first under Walter Crane and Frank Morley Fletcher, and later, after a period in Brussels and Paris, under Édouard Lantéri. Fletcher became the first director of the newly established Edinburgh College of Art in 1908, and in the following year appointed Portsmouth as the head of the department of modelling. His most significant public commissions are the series of bronze figurative war memorials in the Highlands of Scotland: Elgin (1921), Lossiemouth (1922), Thurso (1923), Wick (1923) and Castletown (1925). Elected Associate Royal Scottish Academician (ARSA) in 1906, and RSA in 1923, he retired in 1929 and died in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
Bibliography: G. Archer, The Glorious Dead: figurative sculpture of British First World War memorials, Kirkstead, 2009, p. 384; W.T. Johnston, Dictionary of Scottish Artists (c.2000), Scottish National Library, ref CD-ROM.585; P.J.M. McEwan, The Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, 2004; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 101, 105, 108, 110–11, vol. 2, pp. 96–97; Scotsman, 4 May 1909, p. 6.
Ray McKenzie 2018
Donald Potter (1902–2004)
Sculptor, born at Newington, Kent. In c.1915, his family moved to Chingford, Essex. Here he joined the local scout troop and in 1919 obtained employment as a trainer at Gilwell Park, Essex, the international centre for training scoutmasters. Baden-Powell noticed Potter’s self-taught woodcarving skills and persuaded him to carve, among other things, the totem poles for the 1929 world jamboree. Potter left Gilwell in 1930 and, wanting to learn stone carving, approached Eric Gill. Gill took Potter on as an assistant and after six months accepted him as a collaborator, allocating to him many of his wood carving commissions. Potter’s experiences with Gill at Piggotts are contained in My Time with Eric Gill (1980). Potter left Piggotts in 1937 and by 1940 was art master and artist-in-residence at Bryanston School, Dorset. An inspirational teacher, his pupils included several leading designers, potters, sculptors, painters and architects of the next generation. Potter retired from teaching in 1984 and in 1997 the Don Potter Art School was inaugurated at Bryanston. In 2002, a centenary retrospective exhibition of his work was held at Dorset County Museum and on 7 June 2004, he died, aged 102. Potter’s works include a granite statue of Lord Baden-Powell, 1960, formerly outside Baden-Powell House, Queen’s Gate, Kensington, since 2021, Gilwell Park; and several commissions from the architect Richard Twentyman for sculptures at St. Martin’s, Parkfields, Wolverhampton, All Saints, Darlaston, Staffordshire, and Bushbury Crematorium, Wolverhampton. Potter also executed the Brownsea Island commemorative stone (marking the site of Baden-Powell’s first scout camp in 1907); a crucifix in walnut for the Rutland Chantry, St George’s Chapel, Windsor; and a 22-ft high Tree of Life for the grounds of Bryanston School.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 484–86; F. MacCarthy, 8 June 2004 (obit.), The Guardian; A. Shrimpton, ‘Potter, Donald Steele [Don] (1902–2004)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2009.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Donald Potter at the opening of the Don Potter Art School, Bryanston School, Dorset, October 1997 (photo: Jpbowen, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Fine art bronze foundry established in 1989 in Edinburgh by Brian Caster and Kerry Caster (née Hammond) as a studio for producing their own bronze sculptures after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art. As the only fine art casting service in Scotland at the time, the company immediately received commissions to cast the work of other sculptors, and in 1997 was forced to move to larger premises at Stewartfield in Leith, close to the former Powderhall Stadium. It is now located on West Harbour Road, Granton, where in addition to casting original work by many leading contemporary artists, it provides a maintenance and repair service for a number of corporate clients. The foundry also incorporates a gallery displaying works by sculptors for whom it has provided casting services, including David Annand, Vincent Butler, Doug Cocker, Kenny Hunter and Alexander Stoddart.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, Liverpool, 2000, pp. 66, 68, 69, 214; H. Conroy, ‘Sculptors are fired up’, (Glasgow) Herald, 6 January 1997; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 25, 27, 53–54, 58–59, 82, 140, 169, 176, 180–81, 259, 262, 266, 310–11, 324–25, 382, 386, 390, 397, 401–02, 420, 430, 449, 467, 474, vol. 2, pp. 76, 173, 201, 206, 293, 321, 342, 400–01, 406, 409, 411, 427, 461, 494, 498, 519; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, pp. 218, 246, 359, 380, 408, 422, 430, 449, 454; Powderhall Bronze website.
Ray McKenzie 2018
Henry Prince & Co (fl. c.1864–75)
Art bronze foundry established by Henry Prince (c.1816/17–1875), engineer. Before setting up on his own, Prince had worked in partnership with Samuel Whitehouse, operating as Prince & Whitehouse, iron founders, at the Grove Foundry, Great Guildford Street, Southwark. The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 31 May 1859 and on 5 October 1863 the Grove Foundry was put up for auction. At about the same date or shortly after, Prince began trading as Henry Prince & Co, art bronze founders, at the Phoenix Foundry, in nearby Ewer Street, Southwark. The earliest of Prince’s bronze castings of which we have knowledge is J.H. Foley’s statue of Father Theobald Mathew, unveiled October 1864 in Cork, Republic of Ireland. Foley clearly appreciated the result, for from this date onwards, Prince became his foundry of choice, casting Sidney Herbert (1866, Waterloo Place, London); the 7th Earl of Carlisle (unveiled 1870, Brampton, Cumbria); the Irish National Memorial to Prince Albert (1871–72, Dublin); and the central figure of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial (1875). Prince also cast Edward Wyon’s statue of Richard Green (1866, East India Dock Road); Marshall Wood’s Richard Cobden (1866, St Ann’s Square, Manchester); Matthew Noble’s Lord Palmerston (1867, Romsey, Hampshire); John Birnie Philip’s Richard Oastler (1867, Northgate, Bradford); Charles Bell Birch’s Samuel Taylor Chadwick (unveiled 1873, Bolton); and John Mossman’s figure and reliefs for James Sellars’ Stewart Memorial Fountain (dated 1872, Glasgow) and his statue of Alexander Wilson (1873, Paisley). As became the fashion among the more successful foundries, the running of the metal was a social occasion for subscribers and distinguished guests, as exemplified in the reports of the casting of the Cobden statue (see The Standard, 19 December 1866, p. 2, which also gives a detailed account of the whole casting process itself). Prince died suddenly on 15 March 1875 at the age of 58 during the casting of Foley’s bronze figure of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial and was buried in the churchyard at St Mary’s, Wimbledon. The foundry seems to have ceased operating after this date.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 399, 436, 437; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, p. xvi; D.A. Cross, Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria, Liverpool, 2017, p. 136; London Gazette, 31 May 1859, p. 2161; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, p. 222 (erroneously recorded as ‘H. Pringle & Co’); Manchester Guardian, 12 August 1875, p. 5; Morning Post, 6 August 1866, p. 5; NPG British Bronze Sculpture Founders; The Times, 19 September 1863, p. 11; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, p. 392; T. Wyke, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004, p. 218.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
James Pulham & Son
Firm of landscape artists and artificial stone manufacturers. Originally known for the construction of rock gardens, grottoes and follies, they later expanded into the manufacture of fountains and a wide range of garden ornaments. There were four generations of Pulhams running the business, each one called James. The business was established by Suffolk-born James I (1793–1838) in London. On James I’s death, his son, James II (1820–1898), took over, moved the firm out to Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and developed a hugely successful artificial stone which came to be known as Pulhamite. It was when James II’s son, James III (1845–1920), went into partnership with his father in 1865 that the firm became known as James Pulham & Son. The firm appears to have still been in business at late as c.1950.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 210, 212–13, 301; B. Elliott, Garden History, vol. 40, no. 2 (Winter 2012), pp. 308–10; London Gardens Trust; The Pulham Legacy.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Pierre (or Pieter) Puyenbroeck (1804–1884)
Sculptor born in Louvain (died in Brussels). He trained with Gilles-Lambert Godecharle. In 1830, his entry for the Brussels Salon, Summer, was purchased by the Royal Park. In 1840, he established a large studio, one of the sculptors who acquired their skills there being Auguste Fraikin. The greater part of Puyenbroeck’s output was religious sculpture in various churches in Brussels; his most successful work in this field is generally held to be the Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral of SS. Michael and Gudula. For the façade of the same cathedral he carved figures of The Three Kings. Puyenbroeck also did the figures of Saint Augustine and Johannes Nepomuk on the façade of the church of Saint James on the Koudenberg. His statues for the Halle aux Draps (Lakenhalle or Cloth Hall) in Ypres were mostly destroyed during the First World War. He was a prolific portrait sculptor. In the Musées Royeaux des Beaux Arts, Brussels, are three of his marble busts: of his former master Godecharle (1837), of the painter Joseph Paelinck (1844) and of the museum’s first conservator, G.J.J. Bosschaert (after Godecharle). He executed the marble relief portrait of Emma Soyer for her monument (inaugurated 1844) in Kensal Green Cemetery and contributed a Cupid in the Rose to the 1862 International Exhibition in London.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 216–19; Oxford Art Online – Benezit Dictionary of Artists; Thieme-Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 27 (Piermaria–Ramsdell), Leipzig, 1933; P. Verbraeken, Living Marble. Belgian Sculptors 1800–1930 (n.d.), p. 68.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
William Pye (b. 1938)
Sculptor born in London. He studied at Wimbledon School of Art, 1958–61, and the Royal College of Art, 1961–65, under Bernard Meadows. He subsequently taught at Central School of Art and Design, 1965–70, and Goldsmiths’ College, 1970–75, and was visiting professor at California State University, 1975–76. He made his name in the later 1960s with highly polished tubular forms in stainless steel, the most prominent example being Zemran, 1971, on the South Bank, one of a select group of post-war British sculptures awarded Grade II listing by Historic England in 2016. In the 1970s Pye explored kineticism, which had led by the early 1980s to his series of site-specific, water-based sculptures, major examples on public sites include Slipstream and Jetstream, 1987, Gatwick Airport North Terminal (ABSA Award and Art & Work Award, 1988); Sibirica, 1999, Holland Park, London; three pieces, 2007, in the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg; Salisbury Cathedral font, 2008; Hypanthium, 2009, University of British Columbia Botanical Gardens, Vancouver; Vannpaviljong, 2011, Stromso Square, Drammen, Norway; Alchemilla, 2016, All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon; and Aquaverde, 2017, Grange Park, Toronto. Pye has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad; his first solo exhibition was in 1966 (Redfern Gallery, London) and his first in the USA was in 1970 (Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York). He was elected FRBS in 1992, honorary FRIBA in 1993, and president of the Hampshire Sculpture Trust in 2002. He was awarded the Prix de Sculpture at the 5th International Sculpture Exhibition, Budapest 1981; the Royal UENO Museum Award, Japan, 1989; and a lifetime Achievement Award from International Art Consultants, 2004.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 185–86, 471, 492–93; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland, Liverpool, 2000, pp. xvii, 34–35, 219–21; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 71–73, 253; F. Lloyd et al, Public Sculpture of Outer South and West London, Liverpool, 2011, p. 99; D. Merritt and F. Greenacre, with K. Eustace, Public Sculpture of Bristol, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 145–46; G.T. Noszlopy, Public Sculpture of Birmingham (ed. J. Beach), Liverpool, 1998, pp. 5–6, 168; G.T. Noszlopy, Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry & Solihull, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 193–94; William Pye website; William Pye: his work and his words, Sudbury, Suffolk, 2010; J. Seddon et al, Public Sculpture of Sussex, Liverpool, 2014, pp. 132, 161–62; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 238–39; D. White and E. Norman, Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool, 2015, pp. 127–28; Who’s Who.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
William Pye, 2014 (photo: © A.K. Purkiss)