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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

May Donoghue

Photo: © Alison McCall womenofscotland.co.uk

Sculptor: Mandy McIntosh

Founder: Powderhall Bronze

Materials: Bronze

Erected: September 2018

May Donoghue

May Donoghue (1898–1958) found a decomposed mollusc in her ginger beer, which made her ill and she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis, as a result she sued the manufacturer, Stevenson, and the case was settled out of court in 1932. The internationally renowned legal case ‘Donoghue v Stevenson’ lay the foundation for the modern law on negligence and became known as ‘the snail in the bottle’ case. The bronze statue entitled ‘Dear Duty’ depicts Donoghue holding her twin granddaughters on their christening day, which the sculptor intended to symbolise the scales of justice. The statue, which is sited close to the café where Donoghue found the snail in her drink, stands on a plinth decorated with hand-coloured bronze spirals which represent the snail.

Location: Wellmeadow Street, Paisley, Scotland.

Diana Dors

Photo: Brian Robert Marshall Wikimedia Commons

Sculptor: John Clinch (1934-2001)

Materials: Bronze

Dimensions: h. approx 2.14m

Unveiled: Friday 14 June 1991 by film producer, David Puttnam

Diana Dors

Diana Dors, born Diana Mary Fluck (1931–1984), film and television actress and singer. Dors was born in Old Town, Swindon and spent her early childhood there. The statue, entitled ‘Diana Dors – Film Star’ depicts her in a slinky evening gown and stole as she appeared when starring on the silver screen in the 1956 crime drama Yield To The Night. The statue was commissioned by Thamesdown (now Swindon) Borough Council through the Percent for Art Policy and was funded by Carter Commercial Developments.

Location: Shaw Ridge Leisure Park, Swindon, Wiltshire.

Herminie Beatrice Eckstein

© The PSSA

Sculptor: William Reid Dick (1878—1961)

Materials: Bonze figure on stone pedestal

Signed and dated: Reid Dick
1930

Inscription: Stone pedestal inscribed: HERMINIE BEATRICE ECKSTEIN BORN 19TH. JANUARY 1893 DIED 14TH. MARCH 1945 FARE THEE WELL MY BEST BELOVED YOU HAVE BROUGHT MUCH HAPPINESS INTO MANY LIVES. THE REMEMBRANCE OF YOU WILL ALWAYS BE WONDERFUL. The Eckstein coat of arms are carved on the back of the pedestal.

Herminie Beatrice Eckstein

Herminie Beatrice Eckstein (1893–1945) was the unmarried sister of Sir Bernard Eckstein, a major art collector, who had business interests in the Sudan. They lived together at Oaklands Hall, Fairwarp. On her death, Bernard commissioned this monument at the local churchyard at Christ Church, where Herminie had laid the foundation stone for the enlargement of the church. She was a friend of Agnes Baden-Powell (sister of Robert, founder of the Boy Scouts), the first President of the Girl Guides. In 1934 Herminie donated the site of Cherry Green Trees near Hatfield to the North Middlesex Division of the Guides. This portrait statue, depicting her in classical Greek dress, is dated 1930, indicating either that it had been chosen for her monument prior to her death or that it was a statue of his sister of which Bernard was particularly fond.

Location: Christ Church churchyard, Fairwarp, East Sussex.

Isabella Elder

Photo: LesleyMitchell CC BY-SA 4.0

Sculptor: Archibald McFarlane Shannan (1850-1915); Granite cutters (to Shannan's patterns) DH & J. Newall of Dalbeattie

Founder: J.W. Singer & Sons, Frome, Dorset

Materials: Bronze figure on granite plinth

Unveiled: 13 October 1906

Isabella Elder

Isabella Elder (1828-1905) was a benefactress and philanthropist, who promoted education, especially among women and was concerned with the welfare of the people of Govan. She built the Elder Free Library, a School of Domestic Economy, the Cottage Hospital and a Nurses’ Training Home. She also created Elder Park, where this statue is sited. The seated statue, which depicts Elder in academic robes, was erected in 1906 by public subscription. It is very rare to find a statue to a non-royal woman at this period.

Location: Elder Park, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland.

George Eliot

Photo: Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Sculptor: John Letts (1930-2010)

Materials: Bronze

Unveiled: 22 March 1986 by Jonathan G. Ouvry, president of the George Eliot Fellowship, great-great grandson of G. H. Lewes.

George Eliot

George Eliot (1819-1880) was the pseudonym adopted by Mary Ann Evans in order for her writing to be taken seriously and published at a time when the idea of a female author would have met with disapproval. She is an internationally renowned novelist, whose works reflect provincial life in the Victorian era with perceptive characterisation and sharp psychological insight. She wrote several novels Middlemarch, Silas Marner and Mill on the Floss being perhaps among the best known.  She was also an essayist, journalist and poet.

Eliot was born at Arbury which is near Nuneaton. From 1854 until 1878 she lived with the philosopher and critic, George Henry Lewes, a married man, who encouraged her writing. In 1880, she married John Walter Cross, but died in December of that year at 4, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea and is buried in Highgate Cemetery, London.

This statue was commissioned by the George Eliot Fellowship. There is a second later cast of 1996 outside the George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Location: Newdegate Square, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Sculptor: John Letts (1930-2010)

Materials: Bronze

Unveiled: 29 August 1996.

George Eliot

George Eliot (1819-1880) was the pseudonym adopted by Mary Ann Evans in order for her writing to be taken seriously and published at a time when the idea of a female author would have met with disapproval. For more detail of her life see previous entry. This is a second bronze cast of the statue in Newdegate Square, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Location: George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Dame Millicent Fawcett

Photo: Anthony O’Neil / Millicent Fawcett / CC BY-SA 2.0

Sculptor: Gillian Wearing CBE, RA

Unveiled: 24 April 2018

Dame Millicent Fawcett

Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, GBE (1847–1929) was a politician, writer and feminist, who campaigned for women’s suffrage through legal change and was not a militant. From 1897 to 1919, she led the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), which was Britain’s largest women’s rights association. The statue portrays Fawcett holding a banner reading ‘COURAGE/CALLS TO/ COURAGE/EVERYWHERE’. It was commissioned as part of the year centenary celebrations of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women over the age of thirty, who met certain property requirements, the right to vote.

This is the first statue of a woman to be erected in Parliament Square.

Location: Parliament Square, London SW1.

Dame Gracie Fields

Photo: Poorlyglot Wikimedia Commons

Sculptor: Sean Hedges-Quinn (b.1968)

Materials: Bronze

Unveiled: 18th September 2016 by Roy Hudd, the comedian and media personality, who was a friend of Gracie Fields.

Dame Gracie Fields

Dame Gracie Fields, DBE (1898-1979) was an actress, singer and comedian. This bronze statue was unveiled in September 2016 to local acclaim. Rochdale was Fields’ hometown, and although she retired to the island of Capri in Italy, she never forgot her roots and often returned.

This statue is believed to be the first statue of a woman erected in Greater Manchester for over 100 years.

Location: Town Hall Square, Rochdale, Lancashire.

Dame Margot Fonteyn

Photo: Ian Yarham Wikimedia Commons

Sculptor: Nathan David FRBS (1930-2017)

Unveiled: 1980 by Dame Margot Fonteyn

Dame Margot Fonteyn

Dame Margot Fonteyn, DBE (1919-1991), prima ballerina. The statue depicts her as the water sprite, Ondine, which was her favourite role. She was professionally paired for some years with the Russian dancer, Rudolf Nureyev. Fonteyn was President of the Royal Academy of Dancing. The bronze was unveiled by Fonteyn herself in 1980, it was commissioned by her international fans. Fonteyn was born in Reigate to a half-Brazilian mother and an English father.

Location: Outside Watson House, London Road, Reigate, Surrey.

Elisabeth Frink

Photo: public domain

Sculptor: Frederick Edward McWilliam CBE, RA (1909 -1992)

Materials: Bronze

Listed: Grade II (1431426 ) 19.01.2016

Elisabeth Frink

Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993), sculptor and printmaker. This sympathetic portrait statue by a fellow artist was cast in 1956 and exhibited the following year in the London County Council (LCC) open-air sculpture exhibition, ‘Sculpture 1850 and 1950’ (cat. no. 21) at Holland Park, London. It was purchased in the same year by the Harlow Art Trust with the aid of the Contemporary Art Society.

In its listing of the work Historic England notes that it is unusual to find a public sculpture of a woman artist at this date and that it was an early acquisition by the Harlow Art Trust. They further point out that the statue is ‘a rare full figure portrait sculpture by this significant C20 artist.’

Location: West Walk, Harlow, Essex.