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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Newbury Abbot Trent (1885–1953)

Sculptor born at Forest Gate, London. At about the age of 11, Trent was reportedly discovered drawing in the South Kensington Museum by the Director for Art of the Department of Science and Art (the painter Thomas Armstrong RA) who, recognising Trent’s talent, persuaded his parents to allow him to adopt him and train him as an artist (Trent was one of 11 children and Armstrong’s own son had recently died at about the same age as Trent was when he spotted him). Trent entered the RCA, c.1904 and subsequently the RA Schools (1909–1912; 1910 Landseer Scholarship). In 1911, he married Phyllis Ledward, the daughter of Richard Ledward and sister of Gilbert Ledward. He exhibited at the RA, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. His public sculptures include memorials to King Edward VII (the ‘Peacemaker’) in Brighton, 1912, and Bath, 1919; war memorials at New Barnet, 1921; Beckenham, 1921; Wanstead, 1922; Ilford, 1922; Tredegar, Wales, 1924; and Wallsend, 1924; the monument to Dean Pigou (d.1916), Bristol Cathedral; and architectural sculpture at the New Victoria Cinema (now Apollo Victoria Theatre), Wilton Road, London, 1929; Gaumont Palace cinemas, Hammersmith, 1932, and King’s Road, Chelsea, 1934; Cheltenham Cinema, 1932–33; No. 3 St James’s Square, London, 1933–34; Adelphi Building, John Adam Street, London, 1936–38; and Gaumont Cinema, North Finchley (lost), 1937. He was a member of the RBS from 1914, and his studio from c.1916 was at 1 Beaufort Street, Chelsea.

Sources: Mapping SculptureRoyal Academy of Arts website; Who Was Who; relevant volumes of Pevsner’s ‘Buildings of England’.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Trent, Newbury Abbot

Newbury Abbot Trent, Bassano Ltd., whole-plate glass negative, 23 July 1921 (photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London)