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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Stanley Nicholson Babb (1874–1957)

Sculptor, born at Plymouth, where he studied at the local school of art before going on to the RCA and the RA Schools, winning, in 1901, the RA Gold Medal and Travelling Scholarship. He showed at the RA, 1898–1945; the RSA, 1913, 1917 and 1924; and the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art, 1906–40. In 1905 he became a member of the RBS. His Jupiter and the Princess of Phoenicia and his Garden Fountain are illustrated in RBS Modern British Sculpture (1939, pls. 8, 9). For Aston Webb’s V&A façade, he carved figures of Thomas Gainsborough and George Romney, 1905. His other public commissions include the South African War Memorial for Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906; a Memorial Tablet to Captain Scott and his companions, St Paul’s Cathedral, London, 1915; and sculpture for First World War memorials at Tunbridge Wells and Bridlington, and for Coutts and Co, Holborn, London.

Sources: Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; Graves, A., The Royal Academy of Arts: a Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their Works from its Foundation in 1769 to 1904, London, 1905–6 (8 vols); Mapping Sculpture; Victorian Web.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Fred Roe, Stanley Nicholson Babb, 1920-29, pencil (photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London)

Percival Ball (1845–1900)

Sculptor born in Westminster. He was a pupil of Henry Weekes. In 1863, shortly before Ball entered the RA Schools, the head of Lambeth School of Art, John Sparkes, appointed him pupil-teacher in charge of his modelling class. During Ball’s time there, Doulton and Co commissioned the school to produce a series of terracotta heads (destroyed in the early 1950s) for the pediment over the main entrance to its Lambeth potteries building: Sparkes designed the heads, allotting the modelling to Ball (with assistance from George Tinworth, then a promising young student). Doulton also produced the two terracotta figure groups representing Instruction that Ball designed for the pediment of the V&A Museum lecture theatre in 1868. Ball enjoyed considerable success at the RA Schools, in 1865 winning its gold medal and scholarship of £25 for the best historical group in sculpture, as well as a silver medal for a model from life. From 1865 to 1882, he showed 24 pieces at the RA summer exhibitions, comprising mostly portrait busts, with some statuettes, reliefs and fancy pieces. In c.1870, he went to Paris and Munich and lastly to Rome, where he lived and worked for about eight years. In 1884, for health reasons (he suffered from asthma and bronchitis) he emigrated to Australia where he established a successful working practice. In 1898, he was commissioned to produce a relief panel, Phyrne before Praxiteles, for the Art Gallery of New South Wales and was sent to London to superintend its casting in bronze at J.W. Singer & Sons. Tragically, his poor health was exacerbated by the London winter and Ball died there of heart failure on 4 April 1903. The casting of his panel was completed after his death and installed on the front of the gallery building in 1903.

Sources: Beattie, S., The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983, p. 18; Cavanagh, T., 2007, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, p. 355; Mapping Sculpture; Scarlett, K., ‘Ball, Percival (1845–1900)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

A.W. Banks

Architectural sculptor. He carved figurative sculptures for the churches of St Katherine, Westway and Primula Street, Hammersmith, for J.R. Atkinson, 1958–59, and St Thomas, Kensal Road, for Romilly Craze, 1967.

Source: Cherry, B., and N. Pevsner, London 3: North West (The Buildings of England), London, 1991.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Tomás Bañuelos (b. 1958)

Sculptor born in Fabero in the province of León in Spain. He trained in the workshop of Higinio Vázquez in Madrid and later became Professor of Sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts in the Complutense University of Madrid. He retains a workshop in Fabero. He and a team of assistants produced the over 100 sculptures, paintings and sketches used as props for the Spanish director, Fernando Trueba’s, 2012 French-language film, L’artiste et son modèle. His statue of Christopher Columbus, 1992, is in Belgrave Square.

Sources: ‘Bañuelos Ramón, Tomás – Profesor titular escuela universitaria’, Universidad Complutense Madrid; Silván, V., ‘Tomás Bañuelos, un escultor de película’, 1 August 2011, El Mundo.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Heinrich Baucke (1875–1915)

German sculptor, mainly of portrait statues and busts in a neo-baroque style. He was born in Düsseldorf and studied, 1891–1900, in the city’s academy of fine art under Karl Janssen. Baucke’s first success was The Victorious Boxer, a bronze statuette, 1897, now in the Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf. In 1903, he moved to Berlin and won several commissions from Kaiser Wilhelm II, including, for the terrace of the pleasure garden of the royal palace at Berlin, the statue of Wilhelm III. In 1907, the Kaiser presented a replica of the statue, via his cousin King Edward VII, to the people of Britain; this was erected outside Kensington Palace. Other significant commissions include a bust of Wilhelm I (1900) for his monument at Rotthausen; and statues of The Electress Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau (1904), Moers castle, and King Frederick I of Prussia and Queen Sophie Charlotte (1909), Charlottenburg Gate, Berlin. He also executed marble busts of Helmuth von Moltke and Otto von Bismarck (Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld). Baucke died on 12 or 13 April 1915 in Ratingen.

Sources: Oxford Art Online – Benezit Dictionary of Artists; Wikipedia (German).

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Frank Baxter (1865–1933)

Sculptor born in Sutton, Lancashire. After attending Eton College, he began working as a manager in the family chemical works. At some date in the 1890s, having decided to become a sculptor, he went to Paris and studied with Denis Puech and Jean-Auguste Dampt. Baxter and his wife and son are recorded as living in Victoria Road, Kensington, from c.1900 to c.1922. He exhibited at the RA (5 times), the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. At the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris in 1926, he exhibited American Bison. The National Portrait Gallery has his bust of James Gairdner (plaster, 1900; bronze, 1924).

Sources: Mapping Sculpture; Oxford Art Online – Benezit Dictionary of Artists.

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Gilbert (William) Bayes (1872–1953)

Sculptor and teacher, born in North London. He studied at the City and Guilds School, Finsbury, 1891–96, before winning an LCC Scholarship which enabled him to attend the RA Schools, 1896–99, where he was taught by Thomas Brock, Harry Bates and, more importantly, George Frampton, who became his lifelong friend. Bayes won the Armitage Prize for composition in 1897, a Silver Medal for life modelling in 1898 and, in 1899, the Gold Medal, Landseer Scholarship and £200 travelling scholarship which funded three months in Italy and nine months in Paris (where he showed at the 1900 Exposition Universelle). He joined the Art Workers’ Guild in 1896, serving as Master in 1925. He taught at Camberwell School of Art, 1906–12. At the outbreak of the First World War, Bayes volunteered for service but was classed as medically unfit; he was later called up following the lowering of the medical requirements, but was exempted because of the importance of his 1916 commission for the Australian War Memorial – two colossal equestrian groups, Offerings of Peace and Offerings of War, finally erected in 1926 in front of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. In 1922 Bayes was made an Honorary Member of the Société des Artistes Français, and won bronze and gold medals at the Paris Salon in 1929 and 1939 respectively. He was vice-president of the RBS, 1929–37, and president, 1938–44; in 1931 he was awarded the RBS medal for his artificial stone frieze, Drama Through the Ages, for the exterior of the Saville Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. Bayes was particularly influenced by Frampton and Alfred Gilbert and, like them, was interested in polychromy in sculpture, the use of mixed materials and, especially in his early years, in Arthurian, Wagnerian and medieval subjects; the Assyrian relief sculptures in the British Museum were also highly influential. In 1905, Bayes executed figures of the architects Sir William Chambers and Sir Charles Barry for Aston Webb’s V&A façade. He produced many designs in polychrome stoneware for Doulton, 1923–39, examples of which may be seen in two of his most important public commissions in the UK, The Queen of Time Clock (blue faience and stoneware decorations for the central gilt bronze figure), 1931, over the main entrance to Selfridges, Oxford Street, and a pair of friezes, 1939, for Doulton House, Lambeth (following demolition in 1979, Pottery through the Ages went to the V&A, Dutch Potters arriving at Lambeth to Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire).

Sources: Beattie, S., The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; Irvine, L., and P. Atterbury, Gilbert Bayes, Sculptor, 1872–1953, Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset, 1998; Mapping Sculpture; Spielmann, M.H., British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-day, London, 1901.

T. Cavanagh January 2023

Gilbert Bayes in his studio in 1930 in front of the plaster relief of Drama through the Ages for the Saville Theatre frieze (now the Odeon Covent Garden cinema), London (photo: public domain)

William Behnes (1795–1864)

Sculptor and painter. Born in London, the son of a piano maker from Hanover and his English wife. Part of his childhood was spent in Ireland, where he started attending drawing school. In 1813 he entered the Royal Academy. At this time, he was painting portraits on vellum. It was the example of the sculptor Peter Chenu which persuaded William Behnes, and his brother Henry, who later changed his name to Burlowe, to adopt the sculptor’s profession. In 1819, Behnes was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Arts for the invention of ‘an instrument for transferring points to marble’. He first exhibited at the RA in 1815. Behnes’s production consists largely of portrait busts and statues. His many church monuments are modest in scale, but occasionally include emotive figures, such as the mourning son, in the monument to Mrs Botfield at Norton, Northants. In 1837, Behnes, who had sculpted Princess Victoria’s portrait in 1828, became her Sculptor in Ordinary, although this did not lead to further commissions. His statue of Sir Henry Havelock in Trafalgar Square (1861) is reputed to have been the first statue to have been based on a photographic portrait of the subject. Behnes’s extravagant habits reduced him to destitution in his final years. Despite the predominance of portraiture in his œuvre, some ideal and imaginary works by him are recorded, including a Lady Godiva, shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851, a Cupid with Two Doves (London International Exhibition of 1862), and a relief illustrating Shakespeare’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’.

Source: Roscoe, I., et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011

John Bell (1811–1895)

Sculptor, etcher and designer for the industrial arts. Born in Suffolk, Bell went to London at the age of 16, and enrolled in Henry Sass’s Drawing School in Soho. In 1829 he moved on to the Sculpture School of the Royal Academy. After completing his training, he exhibited at the Royal Academy and at the Society of Arts, and became a founder member of the Etching Club in 1838. In 1839 he was an unsuccessful entrant for the Nelson Memorial competition. It was, however, with his ideal works that Bell first attracted the attention of critics and the public. His figure of Dorothea, inspired by an episode in Don Quixote, shown at the Royal Academy in 1839, proved especially popular. A marble version was commissioned by Lord Lansdowne, and like many of Bell’s compositions, it was later adapted by the Minton factory as a Parian Ware statuette. Bell’s Eagle Slayer, a poetic conception of his own, was ideal sculpture of a more heroic and morally elevated kind. It was shown first at the Royal Academy in 1837, but often thereafter in a variety of materials. As a public statuary, Bell was employed first at the Sydenham Crystal Palace in 1853, and in the following year he produced two historical figures for St Stephen’s Hall, Westminster. He adopted a sombre, heroic style and symmetrical composition for the Wellington Memorial in the Guildhall (1856), and again in 1860 for the Guards Crimean War Memorial in Waterloo Place. Bell’s proposal of a kneeling figure of the Consort in medieval armour for the Albert Memorial was not adopted, but he was commissioned to produce the marble group of America for the northwest corner of the memorial. Positioned on the memorial in 1870, this group, with its five symbolic figures around a charging bison, was described as ‘a really great work’ by The Times, at the unveiling in 1872. In 1847, Bell had cooperated with Henry Cole in his attempt to introduce artistic quality into domestic utensils, the so-called Felix Summerly’s Art Manufactures, and he went on to provide many models for industrial reproduction in a variety of materials. The Coalbrookdale Ironworks and Minton’s were his most frequent collaborators. Bell was a poet and art theorist, a frequent contributor to Building News and the Journal of the Society of Arts.

Sources: Barnes, R., John Bell. The Sculptor’s Life and Works, Kirstead, Norfolk, 1999; Read, B., Victorian Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1982; Roscoe, I., et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011

John Bell drawing by his sister, Rose Bell, 14 June 1858 (copied by R.H.B.).

Frantisek (Franta) Belsky (1921–2000)

Sculptor. Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, son of economist, Joseph Belsky. At 16 he won a prize in a sculpture competition in Prague. His family fled to England in 1938. Belsky studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (1939–40). He served in the artillery during World War II. After the war he recommenced his artistic education, studying sculpture at the Royal College of Art, completing his course there in 1950. As a sculptor he was known for his portraiture, but also produced abstract sculpture and architectural works. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors (Council Member 1958–92) and was President of the Society of Portrait Sculptors (1963–68 and 1994–99). Portrait busts include Cecil Day-Lewis (National Portrait Gallery, 1952),
Admiral Lord Cunningham (Trafalgar Square, 1967), Harry S. Truman (Presidential Library, Independence, Missouri, 1974), John Piper (National Portrait Gallery, 1987) and Winston Churchill (Churchill College, Cambridge). Belsky also executed many busts of members of the royal family. His public statues include Winston Churchill (Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri; British Embassy, Prague) and Lord Mountbatten of Burma (Horseguards Parade, London, 1983). Other sculptures include Paratroop Memorial (Prague, 1947), Cecil Rhodes Statue (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 1953), Joy Ride (Town Square, Stevenage, 1957) and Triga (Caltex House, Knightsbridge, 1958), and RAF Memorial (Prague, 1995). The massive Shell Centre Fountain (Lambeth, 1963) is also by Belsky. Governor of St Martin’s School of Art, 1967–88. He married Margaret Owen in 1964, who was to become better known as the cartoonist, Belsky. She died in 1989. In 1996 he married the Czech sculptor, Irena Sedlecka. Vaclav Havel presented Belsky with the Presidential Medal of Merit in 1999.

Sources: F. Belsky, Franta Belsky Sculpture (intro. C. Lom; reviews by M. Levy and G.S. Whittet), London and Prague, 1992; Obituaries in Times and Guardian, 7 July 2000; Wyke, T., Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester,
Liverpool, 2004; Cavanagh, T., Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011

Franta Belsky (photo: public domain)

Paolo Valentino Bernini (1648–1728)

Sculptor. A son of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, he remained in his father’s workshop until the latter’s death in 1680. In 1665, when Giovanni was summoned to Paris to work for Louis XIV, Paolo accompanied him, and while there – and with some help from his father – executed a low relief in marble, The Infant Jesus with the Instruments of the Passion (Louvre). He worked with his father on one of the Angel statues on the Ponte Sant’Angelo in Rome and executed the matching memorials to the da Silva family on the side walls of his father’s Cappella da Silva in the church of Sant’ Isidoro a Capo le Case, Rome. The design of the Monument to Lady Jane Cheyne, 1670–72, Chelsea Old Church, is attributed to him. Paolo was admitted to membership of Accademia di San Luca in 1672.

Sources: Hildburgh, W.L., ‘A Signed Marble Cupid Perhaps by Paolo Valentino Bernini’, Burlington Magazine, November 1942, pp. 280, 282–84; Oxford Art Online – Benezit Dictionary of Artists.

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Leslie Cubitt Bevis (1892–1984)

Sculptor and teacher. He was born in Maidstone, Kent, and died in Croydon. In the First World War, he joined the 28th London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles) as a private; in July 1917, he was commissioned as a temporary lieutenant in the 2nd Highland Light Infantry and was subsequently wounded. In the Second World War, he was briefly an officer in the RAF, before transferring to the army where he specialised in camouflage in the Western Desert of North Africa. Between the wars, he taught at Bedford School and following the second, at several art schools, including Camberwell, Wimbledon and St Martin’s. For some years from 1957, he occupied a studio in the Buddhist Society building at 58 Eccleston Square, Pimlico, although according to his son he was never a Buddhist, simply ‘straight Church of England’. Bevis showed (mainly portrait heads and busts) at the RA from 1946 to 1966. His bust of Hugh Gaitskell, 1963, is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and his statue of Thomas More, 1967–69, outside Chelsea Old Church, Cheyne Walk.

Sources: Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; Mapping Sculpture.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

George Frederick Bodley (1827–1907)

Architect and designer of Scottish descent born in Hull. He was the pupil of, and then assistant to, Sir George Gilbert Scott. Bodley was primarily a church architect, working in the Gothic style, firstly drawing influence from the French C13, then, from the late 1860s, English Decorated Gothic of the first half of C14; he also designed secular buildings in a Queen Anne style. For his earliest works – for example, All Saints, Selsley, Gloucestershire (designed 1858), described as ‘the finest achievement of his early years’ (Michael Hall, ODNB) – he employed the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co for all the stained glass and decorations. During the 1870s, Bodley parted company with the firm in a drive to retain tighter personal control across all aspects of his buildings’ designs, thereafter frequently using, e.g., Rattee & Kett for woodwork, Barkentin & Krall for metalwork, and Burlison & Grylls for stained glass. In 1869, he went into an informal partnership with Thomas Garner. The partnership’s best-known designs include St Augustine, Pendlebury, Manchester (designed 1870) and Holy Angels, Hoar Cross, Staffordshire (designed 1871–72). The partnership was amicably dissolved in 1897, following Garner’s conversion to Roman Catholicism. Bodley’s final commission was for the Episcopal Cathedral, Washington, DC (designs prepared 1906–07, construction begun 1910, construction completed 1990). Bodley also designed wallpaper, textiles, vestments, and ecclesiastical fittings and furniture, for the production of which in 1874 he, Garner and George Gilbert Scott jnr established Watts & Co. Bodley was elected ARA in 1882 and RA in 1902, and was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1899. Bodley’s pupils include C.R. Ashbee, Sir Ninian Comper and Edward Warren. Michael Hall (ODNB) described Bodley as ‘unquestionably the most influential architect at work in the Anglican church during the last third of the nineteenth century’.

Sources: Hall, M., ‘Bodley, George Frederick (1827–1907)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004; Hall, M., George Frederick Bodley and the later Gothic Revival in Britain and America, New Haven and London, 2014.

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Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834–1890)

Sculptor, born in Vienna, the son of Josef Daniel Böhm, a Hungarian medallist and director of the Imperial Mint. The young Boehm travelled frequently with his father, visiting England where he was much impressed with the Parthenon sculptures and Italy where he admired Renaissance portrait statues. He spent three years in Paris, marrying an Englishwoman there in 1860 and converting to Protestantism. In 1862, he settled in London and in 1865 became naturalised. Among those attracted to his portrait busts and statuettes, and in particular his equine subjects, was Queen Victoria, who in 1869 appointed him sculptor tutor to Princess Louise and awarded him three commissions, including a colossal marble statue of herself enthroned for Windsor Castle. Boehm was elected ARA in 1878 and RA in 1882, was elected a member of the Academy of Florence in 1875 and of Rome in 1880, and was appointed baronet in 1889. Boehm’s realistic style, with its spirited modelling and anatomical accuracy, though popular with the public was dismissed by those critics who expected ‘a finer, more idealised, more classicising touch’. Just as there is general agreement that Boehm’s statue of Thomas Carlyle, 1882, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, is among his finest works, so is there that his Duke of Wellington, 1889, Hyde Park Corner, is among his least successful, The Times, echoing the thoughts of many critics, admiring the quality of its portraiture but adjudging the work as a whole ‘a failure from the point of view of design, the four soldiers at the base being mere excrescences, and forming no part of the pedestal’. Other important commissions include John Bunyan, 1872–74, Bedford; Sir John Burgoyne, 1875–77, Waterloo Place; William Tyndale, 1881–84, Victoria Embankment Gardens; Sir Francis Drake, 1882–84, Plymouth; Charles Darwin, 1885, Natural History Museum, and Queen Victoria, 1887, Castle Hill, Windsor. Boehm lived and worked in Kensington for most of his residence in England: in 1864 he was at 28 Brompton Crescent; from 1865 to 1869, at 13 Sumner Place (this may have been a studio address); and by 1870, at 34 Onslow Square (Marochetti’s former home). From 1873 until his death, he worked from a studio at The Avenue (Sydney Close), 76 Fulham Road, and from 1884, lived in a house designed for him at 25 Wetherby Gardens. Boehm died suddenly in his studio one evening, possibly from a heart attack, and was either with Princess Louise at the time, or discovered by her after, circumstances which led the contemporary press to conclude the couple had been having an affair. Working at the time in an adjacent studio was Alfred Gilbert, a former assistant of Boehm’s, who would go on to complete many of Boehm’s unfinished works.

Sources: The Athenaeum, 20 December 1890, p. 861; Pall Mall Gazette, 13 December 1890, p. 4; Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: a chronicle, 1769-2018; Saturday Review, 20 December 1890, p. 704; The Spectator, 20 December 1890, pp. 900–01; Stocker, S., ‘Boehm, Sir (Joseph) Edgar, baronet (1834–1890)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; The Times, 13 December 1890, p. 9.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Joseph Edgar Boehm, Ralph Winwood Robinson C. Whittingham & Co., c.1889, published 1892, platinum print, (photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London).

Gilbert Dutson Boulton (1865–1936)

Sculptor born in Worcestershire. His father, Richard Lockwood Boulton (c.1832–1905) established a successful sculpture and architectural carving business in Cheltenham in 1870/71. Gilbert and his brothers, Lockwood (1857–1927), Thomas (1860–1932) and Frank (c.1877–?) worked for their father and took over the running of the firm on his retirement in 1893; the firm continued until at least 1971. Gilbert Boulton’s commissions include figure carvings at St Cuthbert’s, Philbeach Gardens, Kensington, 1896–1908; the carving of Temple Moore’s rood screen, 1912, in St Mary the Virgin, Lowgate, Hull; and a stone figure of St George for Bodley & Hare’s war memorial at Walford, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire (dedicated 1925; listed Grade II 1987).

Sources: Mapping Sculpture; various.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Frank Bowcher (or Boucher) (1864–1938)

Medallist, designer of seals, and sculptor, born in London. His father, Henry, was an etcher, draughtsman and cartoonist and his brother, Alfred William (1863–1890), a sculptor. Boucher entered the National Art Training School, South Kensington, c.1881, and worked in the studio of Edward Onslow Ford. He was awarded silver medals at the Paris Universal Exhibition, 1900, and at the Brussels Universal Exhibition, 1910. He was, in 1905, a founder member of the RBS. He executed marble portrait busts for a number of prestigious clients including the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Earl and Countess of Derby and the Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda, but it was as a medallist and designer of seals that he chiefly became known. He designed the silver seals for King Edward VII and King George V; decorations (Order of Merit) for Baroda State, India; the Osler Memorial Medal for the University of Oxford; and medals for the RCA, Royal College of Science and Eton College. He also designed and executed silver statuettes for the opening of the Sennar Dam, Sudan, and restored antique bronzes for the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. He was a regular exhibitor at the RA.

Source: The Times, 8 December 1938, p. 18.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Allister Bowtell (1940–2006)

Sculptor, film designer and model maker, born in Sheen, Surrey, and educated at King’s College school, Wimbledon. After two years as a trainee cameraman for Rediffusion television, in 1961 he entered Chelsea Art School as a mature student, leaving in protest when the school lost its Dip AD sculpture accreditation. Making use of his television contacts, he obtained employment as a model maker, in 1966 making the models for Tweedledum and Tweedledee in Jonathan Miller’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and for the first appearance of the cybermen in Doctor Who (both BBC). He was a part-time lecturer at Wimbledon School of Art, 1966–70, and the London College of Printing, 1974–78. When computer simulation reduced the demand for television props he turned to sculpture, working in a multiplicity of materials. He secured many private and public commissions, including Two Pupils, 2003, King’s Road, Chelsea. He was a member of the London Sketch Club and Chelsea Arts Club (chairman, 1997–2000). A keen oarsman, he rowed for the Arts Club and was vice-president of Vesta Rowing Club, near his home at Putney. In 2001, he was elected to the RBS. He died of prostate cancer at the age of 66.

Source: The Guardian online, 13 October 2006 (obit.).

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Sidney Nicholson Boyes (b. c.1878; active 1901–31)

Sculptor born in Southampton, Hampshire. In 1902, he was awarded a free studentship by the Board of Education to study at Southampton School of Art for two years. He afterwards attended the RCA, his contribution to an exercise in composition, a decorative panel entitled Music, appearing in the Art & Crafts Magazine, 1904. In the following year, Boyes was one of four students selected by Edouard Lantéri to work on a figure for Aston Webb’s new façade for the V&A Museum, Boyes being allotted Lord Leighton. About this time, he moved to Aberdeen to take up a teaching post at Gray’s School of Art. While in Aberdeen, he was commissioned to design and produce the leopard finials and a bronze relief of personifications of trades, finance, fishing, shipbuilding, engineering and agriculture for the city’s Union Bridge (1905–08). He showed at the Aberdeen Artists’ Society Exhibition of Works of Modern Artists in 1906 and 1908 and the RSA in 1907. By 1910, he was back in London, initially working from 7 Wentworth Studios, Manresa Road, Chelsea. From this year until 1931, he showed 11 works – busts and statuettes – at the RA. He was a member of the RBS from 1908 until his resignation in 1928 and, from 1916 to 1926, taught modelling at the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

Sources: ‘Exhibition of Students’ Work at the Royal College of Art. Part 2. Awards’, Arts & Crafts Magazine, 1904; Mapping Sculpture; Physick, J., The Victoria and Albert Museum: The History of its Building, London, 1982; Royal Academy Exhibitors 1905–1970. A dictionary of artists and their work in the Summer Exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1973.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

John Broad (c.1858–1919)

Modeller, based in Wandsworth, principally producing figures, monuments and terracotta ware. He joined Doulton & Co in 1873, firstly as an assistant to George Tinworth, remaining there throughout his working life. He also studied at Lambeth School of Art and afterwards the RA Schools, in 1882 winning a silver medal for a model of a figure from the life. In 1888, he modelled an India group and a Queen Victoria statue for Doulton’s Victoria Fountain in Glasgow. When in 1894 the latter was destroyed by lightning, Henry Doulton, at his own expense, had Broad make a new model for Glasgow Corporation. Whereas the first had been a unique cast, this second was a multiple edition, with one cast going up outside Doulton’s Lambeth offices (removed 1910 to make way for road alterations and subsequently broken up) and another at Gravesend. Also for Doulton were his statues of General Gordon, 1893, Gravesend, and Queen Victoria, 1897–98, for Gravesend and 1899 for Albert Embankment, London (destroyed); decorative reliefs, including spandrels of ‘Night’ and ‘Day’, over the entrance of R.W. Edis’s Hotel Great Central (now The Landmark), Marylebone Road, 1897–99; and the tympanum relief for Harrods, c.1905, Brompton Road. Examples of his works were shown at Arts and Crafts exhibitions, London, 1890, 1891 and 1910, the Chicago World Fair, 1893, and the RA, 1890–1900.

Sources: Bergesen, V., Encyclopaedia of British Art Pottery 1870–1920 (ed. G.A. Godden), London, 1991; Eyles, D., The Lambeth Doulton Wares (rev. L. Irvine), Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset, 2002; Graves, A., The Royal Academy of Arts: a Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their Works from its Foundation in 1769 to 1904, London, 1905–06 (8 vols); McKenzie, R., Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002; Mapping Sculpture; Tinworth, G. (handwritten draft for an autobiography), c.1911, Southwark Local Studies Library (920 TIN); Ward-Jackson, P., Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003; Wyke, T., Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Abraham Broadbent (1868–1919)

Architectural sculptor born in Shipley, Yorkshire, resident in London from c.1895. Both his father, William P. Broadbent, and brother, Samuel, were stonemasons. Broadbent studied at the South London Technical School of Art and in 1895 was awarded the Sculpture Studentship (£50 per annum for two years). By 1912, W.S. Frith could say that Broadbent had ‘arrived at the acknowledged position of being one of our first architectural sculptors’. Writing in 1921, Kineton Parkes listed him among the best sculptors of his generation. For Aston Webb, he carved relief figures of Huntington Shaw and Thomas Tompion, 1905, for the V&A’s Exhibition Road frontage. He also carved the decorative programme for the Eton School Hall (1904–08) and a sculpture called The White Man’s Burden (1913) for the Union Government Building in Pretoria, South Africa. He was, until his death, a member of the AWG (from 1901) and RBS (from 1906). He exhibited at the RA from 1901 to 1919.

Sources: Mapping Sculpture; Parkes, K., Sculpture of To-Day, vol. 1, 1921; Ward-Jackson, P., Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Sir Thomas Brock (1847–1922)

Sculptor. Born in Worcester where he attended the Government School of Design. In 1866 he moved to London and became a pupil of John Henry Foley. In 1867 he entered the Royal Academy Schools gaining, in 1869, the RA gold medal in sculpture for his group, Hercules Strangling Antaeus, which was exhibited at the RA in 1870. In this same year, 1870, he produced his first portrait statue, Richard Baxter, at Kidderminster. When Foley died in 1874, Brock undertook to complete many of his unfinished commissions, thereby succeeding to much of his practice. Brock’s numerous public commissions include portrait statues of Sir Bartle Frere (1888, Victoria Embankment Gardens, London), and Sir J.E. Millais (1904, John Islip Street, London – originally in front of the Tate Gallery); the Tomb of Lord Leighton (1900, St Paul’s Cathedral); and an Equestrian Statue of the Black Prince (1902, City Square, Leeds), but the most prestigious was the Memorial to Queen Victoria (with Aston Webb) in front of Buckingham Palace, earning him his knighthood at its unveiling in 1911. It was probably on the strength of this that Brock was chosen to sculpt a memorial to New Zealand’s then longest serving Prime Minister, Richard John Seddon, which, since 2015 has stood outside the Parliament Buildings in Wellington. Brock exhibited at the RA, 1868–1922, and was elected ARA in 1883 and RA in 1891. He was first president of the Royal Society of British Sculptors at its founding in 1905 and membre d’honneur of the Société des Artistes Français. He was made honorary ARIBA in 1908, honorary DCL at Oxford University in 1909, and honorary RSA in 1916. He died 22 August 1922.

Sources: Beattie, S., The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; Brock, F., Thomas Brock. Forgotten Sculptor of the Victoria Memorial (ed. J. Sankey), Bloomington, 2012; Sankey, J., ‘Thomas Brock and the Critics’, unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Leeds, 2002 (copy held at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds); Stocker, M., ‘“A Great Man and a Great Imperialist”: Sir Thomas Brock’s Statue of Richard John Seddon’, Sculpture Journal, vol. I, 1997, pp. 45–50; Winfrey, J., ‘Leeds City Square: T. Walter Harding and the realisation of a sculptural vision’, in Sculpting Art History. Essays in Memory of Benedict Read (eds. K. Eustace et al), London, 2013, pp. 218–33; Who Was Who 1916–1928.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2023

Thomas Brock, c. 1903 (photo:James Russell & Sons,
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry Ltd

Foundry set up in Limehouse Basin in London’s East End in 1989 by New Zealand-born sculptor Mark Kennedy. Originally intending to cast only his own sculptures, he began taking on work from other sculptors, gradually building up a large client list, so that by 2002 he was employing about 30 people. The foundry specialises in lost wax casting of bronze and other non-ferrous metals. Public sculptures include Lawrence Holofcener’s Allies, 1995, Old Bond Street, London; Nicola Hicks’s Bettle, 2000, Anchor Square, Bristol; Les Johnson’s London Dockers, 2009, Royal Victoria Dock, East London; Tim Shaw’s The Drummer, 2011, Truro, Cornwall; Douglas Jenning’s Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC, 2014, Gravesend, Kent; Allan Sly’s Sir Alec Bedser, 2015, Woking, Surrey; and Hazel Reeves’s Sir Nigel Gresley, 2016, King’s Cross Station, London, and ‘Rise Up Women’ (Emmeline Pankhurst), 2018, Manchester. Other clients include Jane Ackroyd, Maurice Blik, Paul Day, Sean Hedges-Quinn, Sean Henry, Michael Sandle and André Wallace.

Sources: Bronze Age London website; NPG British bronze sculpture founders.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Ford Madox Brown (1821–1893)

Painter and designer born at Calais, the son of a ship’s purser. Brown trained under Gustaf, Baron Wappers at Antwerp academy. In 1841, he married Elisabeth Bromley, a first cousin. The couple returned to England in 1844 and in 1845 travelled to Rome in an unsuccessful search for a cure for Elisabeth’s consumption; she died on the return journey in Paris in 1846. Despite Brown’s profound grief, the trip nevertheless exercised a lasting stylistic influence on his painting, having allowed him to see Italian Renaissance painting first-hand and to meet key members of the German Nazarene group living in Rome. Following his return to England, Brown was approached by the young Dante Gabriel Rossetti who had seen and admired his latest painting, Wycliffe (1847–48; Cartwright Hall, Bradford). Rossetti became Brown’s pupil and the two became lifelong friends; Rossetti modelled for the figure of Geoffrey Chaucer in Brown’s painting, Chaucer at the Court of Edward III (1846–51; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). Following Rossetti’s death, Brown designed and modelled the headstone, 1883–84, for his friend’s grave in the churchyard of All Saints, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, and the bust for his memorial drinking fountain on Chelsea Embankment. Although Brown never became a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he was sympathetic to their aims and closely associated with them. The theme of his first major painting, The Last of England (1852–55; Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery) was inspired by Pre-Raphaelite brother Thomas Woolner’s attempted emigration to Australia in 1852 and in 1874 his daughter, Emma Lucy, married Dante Gabriel’s brother, William Michael Rossetti. Brown’s association with Rossetti also led to his becoming a founder member of the firm of Rossetti’s friend William Morris, for whom he designed stained glass and furniture (see, for example, his Egyptian-style chair, 1860–61, V&A, no. W.13–1985).

Sources: Art Gallery NSW; Barringer, B., ‘Brown, Ford Madox (1821–1893)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; V&A Search the Collections.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, 31 Janauary 1867, pencil on paper (photo: public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Domenico Giovanni Brucciani (1815–1880)

Sculptor and plaster figure maker born in Barga, near Lucca. In 1829 he travelled to London to work with his uncle Luigi ‘Lewis’ Brucciani at 5 Russell Street, Covent Garden, taking over the business in around 1840 following his uncle’s return to Italy. The business became the primary supplier of plaster casts to the emerging national network of Government Schools of Design and from the 1850s onwards, the Department of Science and Art. Brucciani exhibited a plaster cast of the Apollo Belvedere at the Great Exhibition of Works of Art of All Nations in 1851 and was commissioned to cast the equestrian statue of Charles I by Hubert Le Sueur for the Crystal Palace in Sydenham in 1853. In 1857 Brucciani entered into an agreement with the British Museum to use and preserve their existing moulds and to produce new moulds from their collections of antiquities and natural history. He was a prize-winning exhibitor at the International Exhibition in 1862 and his showrooms were visited by Napoleon III the following year. Brucciani expanded his premises in 1864, naming the new 100-foot showroom at 40 Russell Street the ‘Galleria delle belle Arti’. In 1866 he produced the largest cast of his career, taken from the Puerta de la Gloria of Santiago de Compostela cathedral, commissioned by Henry Cole for the South Kensington Museum at a cost of £2,300. After Brucciani’s death in 1880 the business continued in his name, eventually passing into the hands of his grandson Paul Joseph Ryan in the early twentieth century, before being absorbed into the Victoria and Albert Museum as the Department for the Sale of Casts between 1921 and 1951.

Source: Wade, R., Domenico Brucciani and the Formatori of Nineteenth-Century Britain, New York, 2019.

R. Wade March 2023

Anonymous, ‘The Late Mr. D. Brucciani. (From a photograph by S.A. Walker, 230, Regent Street.)’, Pictorial World (24 April 1880), p. 125. Wood engraving. Collection of the author.

Albert Bruce Joy (or Bruce-Joy) (1842–1924)

Sculptor, born in Dublin. He was educated at Becker’s grammar school, Offenbach, Germany; King’s College, London; and also in Paris. He went on to study art at the National Art Training School, South Kensington, and RA schools, completing his artistic education with three years in Rome. He spent four years working under J.H. Foley and, following the latter’s death in 1874, executed his master’s commission of a marble statue of Robert Graves, 1877, for the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin. Bruce Joy was elected ARHA (Associate of the Royal Hibernian Academy) in 1890 and RHA in 1893. He exhibited at the RA, London, from 1866. His ability to record his sitter’s likeness with remarkable accuracy made him a sought-after portraitist. His public statues include John Laird (1877) for Birkenhead; W.E. Gladstone (1882) for Bow Churchyard, London; John Bright (1891) and Oliver Heywood (1894) both for Albert Square, Manchester; and Alexander Balfour (1905), for St John’s Gardens, Liverpool.

Sources: Gleichen, E., London’s Open-Air Statuary, London, 1928; Mapping Sculpture; Murphy, P., Nineteenth-Century Irish Sculpture. Native Genius Reaffirmed, New Haven & London, 2010; Spielmann, M.H., British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-day, London, 1901; Who Was Who.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Albert Bruce Joy, Done & Ball, albumen cabinet card, 1889-91 (photo:© National Portrait Gallery, London).

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833–1898)

Best known as a painter, illustrator and decorative artist, he also designed a handful of sculptural works. The sole surviving child of Edward Richard Jones and Elizabeth Coley, he was christened Edward Coley Burne Jones, but by c.1860 had adopted the surname Burne-Jones. His father ran a small carving and gilding business in Birmingham in which city, from 1848, Burne-Jones, destined for a career in engineering, attended drawing classes three evenings a week at the Government School of Design. However, when in 1852 he went up to Oxford it was to take holy orders. He quickly struck up a friendship with a fellow student, William Morris, and the two, discovering a mutual passion for art and architecture through the writings of John Ruskin and the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, abandoned any ideas of entering the church. Burne-Jones, having decided to become a painter, sought out Dante Gabriel Rossetti and began taking lessons from him. Rossetti’s work was to become a major influence, albeit one supplanted by the art of the quattrocento, in particular the paintings of Botticelli and Mantegna, following Burne-Jones’s trips to Italy in 1859 and 1862. In 1860 he married Georgiana Macdonald and in 1861 was a founder member of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, supplying the firm with designs for stained glass and tapestries. His principal themes were drawn from Greek and Roman mythology, Chaucer, and Thomas Mallory’s Le morte d’Arthur. His earliest sculptural work is probably the gesso relief panel, Perseus and the Graiae (exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, 1878; now private collection), intended as one of ten panels (four in painted gesso relief, six in oil on canvas) which Arthur Balfour had commissioned to decorate the walls of the music room of his London residence, 4 Carlton Gardens. Burne-Jones executed three gouache designs showing the whole cycle in its setting (1875–76; Tate nos: N03456, N03457, N03458), the subdued tones of the relief panels contrasting strikingly with the rich chromaticism of the paintings. He executed all ten pictures as full-size gouache cartoons (Southampton Art Gallery) during the course of which he abandoned one of the relief subjects (The Court of Phineas) and decided the cycle would be paintings only, a change of mind evidenced in the increasingly painterly appearance of the remaining three relief subjects: Perseus and the Graiae, The Death of Medusa and Atlas Turned to Stone. (He ultimately completed only four subjects in oil, all now in the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart.) Burne-Jones’s next opportunity to work in three dimensions followed the death in childbirth of one of his young female friends (and occasional model), Laura Lyttelton (1862–1885); for her he completed a memorial relief in gesso, for the Church of St Andrew, Mells, Scotland, retaining for his own house a cast, mounted on wood, gilded and painted (now in the V&A, acc. no. P.85-1938). The subject is a peacock (for the Resurrection) perched in an olive tree which sprouts from an empty sarcophagus mounted on short piers with cushion capitals. A variation on this sarcophagus was to feature in Burne-Jones’s funerary monument to his great patron, Frederick Leyland (d. 1898), in Brompton Cemetery, Kensington, comprising a free-standing, reliquary-like chest raised on piers.

Sources: Bowdler, R., ‘Memorials at Mells: An Emerging Story of Remembrance’, Art & the Country House; MacCarthy, F., The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination, London, 2011; Newall, C., ‘Jones, Sir Edward Coley Burne-, first baronet (1833–1898)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; Vallance, A., ‘The Decorative Art of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart.’, Art Journal Easter Art Annual, 1900, p. 25; Wildman, S., and J. Christian, Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer, New York, 1998.

T. Cavanagh January 2023

Frederick Hollyer photogravure (1900) of a portrait of Edward Burne-Jones by his
son, Philip Burne-Jones, 1898 (photo: public domain).

Andrew Burton (b. 1961)

Sculptor born in Kent. He attended Newcastle University, graduating with a first-class degree in fine art in 1983 and a master’s degree in 1986, after which he visited India on a British Academy Travelling Scholarship. In 1983, he won a prize for sculpture at the Tyne Tees Northern Open and in 1990 the McGrigor Donald Sculpture Prize. His public commissions include three bronzes (Lion; Elephant under a Moroccan Edifice; and Tipping off the World), 1990, for Gateshead Garden Festival (now in Newcastle Business Park); An Urban Elephant, 1991, for Stevenage Museum (Herts) Sculpture Trail; Durham Cow, 1997, for The Racecourse riverside path, Durham; Annunciation, 2000, for Holland Park; Cycle (aka Medieval Life), 2001, for Castle Hill Roundabout, Dudley; and Cook’s Earth, 2003, for James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough. He has exhibited internationally since 1990 and has undertaken both solo and collaborative projects in the UK, Netherlands, India, China and Korea; a strong theme in his work is the use of bricks and other retrieved material, emphasising the sculptural possibilities of everyday objects. Burton is Professor of Fine Art at Newcastle University, a Fellow of the RBS and a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. In 2015 he was awarded Gold Prize at the KOCEF Biennale for Ceramic Sculpture in South Korea. In a recent statement the sculptor said that his ‘specialism is in contemporary sculpture, particularly in sculpture situated in relation to ceramics, craft and architecture’.

Sources: Andrew Burton website; Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; Royal Society of Sculptors website.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Timothy Butler (1806–1885)

Sculptor. In 1824 he was awarded a Silver Medal by the Society of Arts for a plaster model after the antique. By then he was already working in the studio of William Behnes and in 1825, on Behnes’ recommendation, he entered the RA Schools, winning the RA Silver Medal in 1827. Although Butler was chiefly known as a portrait sculptor, showing over one hundred busts at the RA, 1828–79, he was also responsible for creating the model for all the original Lion-head mooring ring supports along the Victoria and Albert Embankments and the two Chelsea Embankment Memorials, 1868–70, London. His marble bust of Dr Jacob Bell, 1863, is in the collection of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and that of Hugh Falconer, 1866, the collection of the Royal Society; his marble statue of Richard Cobden, 1876, is in the Wool Exchange, Bradford, Yorks. John Adams Acton trained in Butler’s studio.

Sources: Roscoe, I., et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009; Mapping Sculpture.

T. Cavanagh November 2022