Frontier Sculpture & Monuments

GFWatt marble marquis at Blickling

Frontier Sculpture & Monuments

Public Sculpture in Britain ~ A History
Geoff Archer
The first book to chart the history of Public Sculpture in Britain is to be published in 2013. It is intended for the ‘man or woman in the street’, as well as scholars and artists, and uses British examples to show a number of ideas of just what public sculpture can be.
Public Sculpture in Britain: A History, is educative and at the same time entertaining. It is full of art and ingenuity, yet for many readers its most useful quality might be clarity, even when recalling lost sculptures or untangling the last few decades with hundreds of new arrivals.
True to the subject, the pages echo controversy, iconoclasm and comments by the press. Differences of opinion are endemic with no single seems that editors and critics of The Times, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Guardian, et al have worked in the public interest, provoking debate and urging the public to review its (our) sculptures. So quotes and headlines, valid or laughable in hindsight, are included.
The author, Geoff Archer, is a practising artist, art historian and former art teacher who took on the task of assessing the tidal wave of figurative sculptures on 1st World War Memorials in The Glorious Dead (Frontier 2009). His writing is well-organised, presenting public sculpture not by era or location, but by theme and purpose in a logical structure of seven chapters – see Contents (click blue title). Arranged in and around the text, photographs of every sort of sculpture create a stream of visual impressions. We see statues of kings and queens, equestrian generals, inventors and authors. There are sombre war memorials with allegorical figures and later ‘sculpitecture’, and modernist works in new towns, with concrete cones and steel-mesh abstracts. The pictures continue with conceptual and comic sculptures, ‘Fourth plinthers’ and giant or landmark figures. By now we can see how we arrived at this point in the continuing story of public sculpture.
May 2013 ISBN: 978-1-872914-40-4. £30 (Click blue title for full description.

British Sculpture in India ~ New Views and Old Memories
Mary Ann Steggles & Richard Barnes
When Mary Ann Steggles began her studies on the subject of historic statues exported from Britain to colonies in South Asia, she picked an interest which has fascinated British and Indian historians. It concerns a parallel collection to the sculptures in the streets of Britain, with works by Bacon, Baily, Banks, Bell, Boehm, Brock, Chantrey, Flaxman, Foley, Gilbert, Jagger, MacKennal, Marochetti, Kathleen Scott, Thornycroft and others.
Presenting new and sometimes first views of this ‘collection’, the book is Prefaced by the eminent sculpture historian, Benedict Read, author of ‘Victorian Sculpture’. There follows a 'View from Calcutta' by Tapati Guha-Thakurta, placing the subject in a modern context in India. Next come 200 concise descriptions by Richard Barnes, entwining subject and artist biographies, sculpture anecdotes and reports. However, the core of the project is the writing of Mary Ann Steggles, offering the historical base and account of the commissioning and exportation of statues from Britain to India. The book’s pages are designed to be a pleasure to look at, as old plates are balanced with newly commissioned photos in a treatment which ‘shows off’ sculpture and the skill of the artists. Authoritative, highly illustrative and bulging with histories, here is the only exposition of the largest amount of British sculptures outside the country. This is a rare book to be commended to devotees of sculpture in five continents and anyone interested in the endless peculiarities of India’s connection with Britain.
320pp, 280 illus (col), h/b, Dec 2011, ISBN: 978-1-872914-41-1. £50 (Click on blue title for CONTENTS and more pictures).

The Glorious Dead ~ Figurative Sculpture of British First World War Memorials
Geoff Archer
The subject is the the subtitle: it is all about the sculptural images which connect us by memory, metal and stone to the Great War which began 95 years ago and still fills us with awe. It is a subject that has waited decades to be gathered together in a book; a period of time which has seen the critical dismissal and decline of figurative sculpture, the death of those sculptors and all the men who went to the Great War. What is left to remember? The sculptures themselves! Geoff Archer has filled a missing gap in 20th century sculpture studies and redeems the war memorial sculpture of the 1920s to the canon of British art history. To open his book is an initiation.
416pp, 270 illus (mono), p/b, ISBN: 978-1-872914-38-1. £30(Click on blue title for full description and more pictures).

John Bell - The Sculptor’s Life & Works
Richard Barnes.
The first book about John Bell,1811-1895, who was linked to Henry Cole and Prince Albert in the Socety of Arts leading up to The Great Exhibition. The sculptor made grand monuments in London, and also worked with manufacturers, his statues being first in Coalbrookdale’s iron, largest in Doulton’s terracotta and most popular in Minton’s Parian ceramic. Chronological biography, list of works, illustration and British Art history.
192pp. H/b. ISBN: 978-1-872914-19-0. £42.00

The Year of Public Sculpture - Norfolk
Richard Barnes.
Sculpture is the commemorative art and Norfolk memories are brought to focus on statues. In 2000-2001, the year of public Sculpture, The Eastern Daily Press printed 35 features with colour photographs spotlighting individual works, sculptors’ lives and Norfolk history.
48pp.p/b. Colour throughout. ISBN: 978-1-872914-22-0. £7.95

Artist of an Icon / The Memoirs of Arnold Machin RA
The artist who created the Queen’s Head on British postage stamps, the most reproduced image of all time. From Minton apprentice in the Potteries in 1925 to RA Professor of Sculpture.
224pp, inc 100 col ills, p/b, ISBN: 978-1-872914-25-1. £24.00

The Obelisk - A Monumental Feature in Britain.
Richard Barnes
Nobody considered Britain's obelisks before, preferring to regard them as inferiors to the magnificent obelisks of Egypt. Britain has roughly 3,000 obelisks and the sculpture and travel author traces history from when Englishmen saw the Egyptian obelisks in Rome. The first obelisk arrived in England c1570 and by the 1700s obelisks were raised with new uses, as landmarks, hilltop eyecatchers, milestones etc. Monolithic obelisks in polished granite streamed into the new cemeteries in the 19th century and soon after a thousand WWI war memorial obelisks were added. Includes J.Bell’s lectures on obelisks and ends with a gazetteer of Britain's obelisks.
240pp h/b inc 80 colour & mono photos, ISBN: 978-1-872914-28-2 £35.00

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