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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

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 Art Workers’ Guild (from 1901) and the Royal Society of British Sculptors (from 1906). He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1901 to 1919.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, p. 170; Mapping Sculpture; G.T. Noszlopy and F. Waterhouse, Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, Liverpool, 2005, pp. 71–72, 74–76; K. Parkes, Sculpture of To-Day, vol. 1, 1921; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 109, 110.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022