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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

James Alexander Stevenson (1881–1937)

Sculptor and medallist, born in Chester. He studied under Lantéri at the Royal College of Art, 1900–05 (winning a travelling scholarship in sculpture) and was one of the advanced students selected by Lantéri to carve a relief figure, of John Everett Millais, on the Cromwell Road façade of Aston Webb’s Victoria and Albert Museum extension in 1905. He attended the Royal Academy (RA) Schools, 1906–09, winning a Landseer Scholarship in his first year. He was modelling master at the Regent Street Polytechnic, 1911–14, and was an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, 1923–26, and a Fellow from 1926 until his death. He exhibited regularly at the RA (32 works), and also at the Paris Salon and the International Society. The signature he frequently applied to his works, ‘Myrander’, is a conflation of his wife’s first name (Myra) and his own middle name. In 1930 he produced two Kneeling Triton Lamp-standards in bronze for the Royal London Mutual Assurance building (Triton Court), Islington. Stevenson’s Times obituarist considered him at his best in portrait busts, notably that of Sir Frederic Kenyon, 1931 (British Museum). Other busts include King George V in naval uniform, 1914 (acquired by the sitter and now in the Royal Collection) and Sir Ernest Shackleton. His bronze bust of a Roman emperor entitled Imperator (1915) is in the Tate. He was commissioned to produce a number of war memorials including those to Major General C.W. Park, 1919, and to the Devonshire Regiment, 1921, both Exeter Cathedral; the parish memorial in St Mary’s Church, Bedfont, Middlesex, 1920; the Dingwall Memorial, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, 1922; and the Askari Monument, 1927, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 168, 332; Mapping Sculpture; E. Morris and E. Roberts, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, Liverpool, 2012, p. 74; Royal Academy of Arts website; The Times, 6 October 1937, p. 16 (obit.); P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 152, 153, 160.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022