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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Joseph C. Kremer (c.1833–1882)

Sculptor born in Tromborn, Moselle, France. He trained in Paris with Auguste Poitevin but moved to England in 1859 and is recorded in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent in 1861, where he was probably working as a modeller in one of the potteries. By 1871 he was living in the St Pancras area of London while making frequent trips back to France where his wife remained with a growing number of children. He showed portrait busts at the Paris Salons of 1864, 1867, 1870 and 1879, and made just one appearance at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, with a portrait medallion in 1872. He died of heart disease at his London residence, 200 Stanhope Street. In the 1870s he made a number of architectural friezes in red terracotta. Four depict Royal Progresses through the City of London – Edward VI, Elizabeth I, Charles II and Queen Victoria – which originally adorned Frederic Chancellor’s building at 12–13 Poultry (1875), City of London, and which, following its demolition in 1994, were installed on the building which replaced it, 1 Poultry. Another three, signed by Kremer and dated 1875, are to be found on Stuart House, Cadogan Square, Chelsea. The house was designed c.1880 by F.G. Knight, with Hunt & Steward, and built 1883–84 for O.L. Stephen, a director of the Great Northern Railway. The friezes – reflecting the name of the house and the destination of the owner’s railway line – were of the Scottish House of Stuart: two with scenes from the life of Mary Queen of Scots – her landing in a small boat and her encounter with armoured troops – and one of the triumphal arrival of her son, James I, in (presumably) London. Also by Kremer are four terracotta statuary groups of the Three Graces which stand atop two sets of gate piers flanking the driveway entrances to Archer & Green’s terrace at 1–10 Cambridge Gate, Regent’s Park, London; these, manufactured by the Coalbrookdale Company, are also signed by Kremer.

Bibliography: London Remembers: ‘Joseph Kremer’; Mapping Sculpture; U. Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, Leipzig, 1907–1962; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 298–99, 467.

Terry Cavanagh, June 2024