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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson (1887–1973)

Prolific and influential sculptor who produced work in all major categories and on a wide variety of scales, including war memorials, free-standing monuments, portraiture, architectural decoration, fountains, inscription tablets, figurative reliefs and tableaux, and historical figurines. He was born in Garlenick, Cornwall, the son of a GP, but moved in 1898 to Musselburgh, East Lothian, where he attended Loretto School. In 1910 he graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a travelling scholarship that enabled him to study at the British School at Rome, where he spent much of his time making measured drawings of Roman antiquities such as the Arch of Titus. After serving with the Ayrshire Artillery Brigade in the First World War, he returned to Edinburgh and set up a studio in a derelict stable in Church Lane, soon gathering around him a team of skilled assistants. In the 1920s he worked on large architectural schemes under Sir Robert Lorimer, including the Scottish National War Memorial and the restoration of the choir of Paisley Abbey (completed 1928), while in the following decade he developed a distinctive figure style influenced by the idealised modernism of the Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. This is best exemplified by his bronze fountain sculpture, Foam, exhibited at the Empire Exhibition, Glasgow, in 1938 (now at Greenbank Garden, Glasgow). His most important work is the colossal equestrian Monument to Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, completed in 1964, while perhaps his most distinctive is the set of eighty-three painted oak statuettes illustrating the development of Scottish military uniforms in the Scottish National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle (1929–33).

Bibliography: Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson, unpublished ‘Memoir’, c.1968, n.p. (Jackson family private archive); R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 99, 100, 104–06, 112–14, 118–20, 221–22, 276–79, 413, 414–16, 447–48, vol. 2, pp. 21–28, 215, 305–14, 473–74, 491, 497.

Ray McKenzie 2018

Jackson, Charles d’Orville Pilkington

Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson, 1932 (photo: public domain, via Jackson family archive)