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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

David Bernard McFall (1919–1988)

Sculptor. Born in Glasgow, he studied at the Junior School of Arts and Crafts in Birmingham (1931–34), then at the Birmingham College of Art, under Charles Thomas (1934–39). Moving to London, he went to the Royal College of Art (1940–41), and to the City and Guilds of London Art School in Kennington (1941–45). From 1944 to 1958 he worked as an assistant to Jacob Epstein. From 1956, McFall taught at the City and Guilds School. In 1942, while he was still a student, his Bull Calf (Portland stone) was acquired with the Chantrey Fund for the Tate Gallery. Two casts of his colossal Unicorn were made by Morris Singer in 1950 for Bristol Town Hall, and in 1951 his Boy and Horse (stone) stood on the podium of the Dome of Discovery at the Festival of Britain. McFall produced portraits of many distinguished contemporaries. An over-life-size statue of Winston Churchill was commissioned from him for Woodford Green, Essex. McFall’s special penchant for the female nude was exemplified over the years in such works as the Pocahontas (bronze, 1956) for the premises of La Belle Sauvage in Red Lion Square (since removed), and the jokingly entitled Venus de la Mile End Road (bronze, exhibited RA 1988). His last work, a standing figure of Christ entitled The Son of Man for Canterbury Cathedral, was installed soon after his death. McFall was elected ARA in 1955, and RA in 1963.

Bibliography (updated 2024): David McFall R.A. (1919–1988) Sculptor (dedicated website); Mapping Sculpture; D. Merritt and F. Greenacre, with K. Eustace, Public Sculpture of Bristol, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 79–81; F. Spalding, Twentieth Century Painters and Sculptors, Woodbridge, 1990; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 152, 161; G. Waters, Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900–1950, Eastbourne, 1975; Who Was Who, 2007.

Philip Ward-Jackson, 2003