British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980
An online resource, launched in 2011, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated May 2023. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].
This resource is a selective listing of bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers active in Britain from about 1800. Some individuals in business before 1800 are treated in summary detail. It focuses on those whose work is represented in major collections or is on display in significant public spaces. Works are to be found in London unless otherwise stated.
The history of institutional plaster cast collections lies outside the scope of this resource but summary entries are provided for the Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum, Edinburgh College of Art, the Flaxman Gallery (University College, London), Glasgow School of Art, the Museum of Classical Archaeology (Cambridge), the Royal Academy of Arts and Sir John Soane's Museum.
Researched and written by Jacob Simon (1st edition 2011, 2nd edition 2015, now updated periodically). Additional entries by Elaine Cordingley, Conor Lucey and Peter Malone.
Format of individual entries (*new entry 2015)
Name, business addresses, dates. Nature of business (note 1)
Business and biographical information. Cross-references to other businesses are indicated by adding ‘(qv)’ after the relevant name.
Summary account of works in museums or on display in public spaces.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
1. Addresses are taken from annual publications such as trade directories or periodicals except where monthly or daily publications or precisely dated documents are available. Many directories, such as Post Office London directories, were prepared towards the end of the year preceding publication so that a supplier may have begun and ended business a year earlier than indicated here. Overlaps and gaps in date sequence for addresses reflect the availability of evidence.
2. To find a particular collection, sculptor, work type or material, use a search engine. Enter your search term, followed by: site:http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/research. You can further narrow your results by adding to the search: “British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers”.
With many thanks to Duncan James for generously providing detailed information on works by individual 19th-century bronze founders, Peter Malone who shared his research on plaster figure makers, Bruno Caproni who provided information on the birth and christening at Barga of various figure makers, Steve Parlanti for his work on bronze founders. Thanks are also due to Ian Jenkins, Jonathan Marsden, Carol Morgan, Helen Smailes, James Sutton and Marjorie Trusted. At the National Portrait Gallery, Olivia Oldroyd undertook initial work as an intern into various sources including Meacci’s account book. Grateful acknowledgement is also made to researchers named in individual entries and to the pioneering work of Terry Cavanagh and Timothy Clifford.
Attention is drawn to three projects, the pioneering series of volumes, Public Sculpture of Britain, published by Liverpool University Press from 1997, Ingrid Roscoe’s A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851 (2009), available online at https://www.henry-moore.org and the project, Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, jointly undertaken by the University of Glasgow, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Henry Moore Institute.
Found a mistake? Have some extra information? Please contact Jacob Simon at [email protected].