We are taking a three-dimensional approach to our Collections Crossover newsletter this week and bringing you a historical overview of all things sculptural. The inspiration for this comes from a recent browse through the collection of one of our newer contributors, Manuel Cohen, who has travelled across the globe recording art, archaeological sites, architecture, streetscapes and, of course, statuary, reliefs and sculptural detail.
Manuel's stunning photographs have captured sculpture from all periods, from the Acropolis in Athens or 1st century BC Nabutean stone sculptures in Syria, to modern urban art such as Louise Bourgeois's 'Maman' spider sculptures or Javier Mariscali's Gambrinus in Barcelona. Whether you want Flemish high baroque or exquisite French Gothic, gargoyles or smiling angels, Marx & Engels or William Wallace, the beautiful figures in Paris's Jardin des Plantes or atmospheric views of the Charles Bridge in Prague, there are thousands of Manuel's superbly shot images to choose from.
We also have an
extensive selection of images charting the lives, training, careers and exhibitions of sculptors. Again, we have thousands of portraits and scenes of sculptors at work, but stand-outs are photographs by Ida Kar, Basil Langton and Sandra Lousada of some of the twentieth century's most prominent artists, among them Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Jacob Epstein, Alberto Giacometti, Lynn Chadwick and Elisabeth Frink. There are also excellent shots of sculptors and their noteworthy creations via Imagno and Keystone, while Roger Mayne, always on hand to capture the creative crucibles and cultural happenings of the day, photographed sculpture students at the Corsham and Central schools of art, as well as the 1960-1 Henry Moore exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. Look out for a quite extraordinary photograph from Everett showing actor/US president Ronald Reagan posing as a model for a sculpture class in 1940 and Margaret Thatcher being measured for her Madame Tussaud's figure!
Sculpture is a guaranteed way to ensure one's place in history, for better or for worse. King and queens, soldiers, statesmen, benefactors, heroes and heroines, and victims of war or persecution are remembered and immortalised for posterity in stone and marble, and we have some wonderful examples, particularly of war memorials from contributors such as Mike St Maur Sheil's Field of Battle collection. But of course statues can often be a focal point for protest and a desire to right the wrongs of the past. The ebb and flow of history means some statues continue to be provocative or controversial, and a toppled idol is as symbolic as an upright one. A case in point is a photograph recently found in The Illustrated London News of the unveiling of the monument to Edward Colston in Bristol in November 1895. 125 years later, in June 2020, his figure was pulled down during Black Lives Matter demonstrations due to his close connections with the slave trade.
Click here to see our selection of statues commemorating the great, the good and the disgraced.
If we can help you figure out any research or quotes, then cast us a line on 020 8318 0034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise we won't mould any more puns into our next newsletter.