10 of 72 portraits of Ramsay MacDonald
by Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1934
24 in. (610 mm) high
Sitterback to top
- (James) Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937), Prime Minister. Sitter associated with 72 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), Sculptor. Artist of 14 portraits, Sitter in 70 portraits.
This portraitback to top
MacDonald admired Epstein's work and had supported him in the controversy over Rima, Epstein's memorial to W.H. Hudson. In 1925, MacDonald joined Augustus John and George Bernard Shaw in signing a letter to The Times protesting against the proposed removal of this sculpture. He met Epstein for the first time in the following year and Epstein would go on to make two portraits of him. This, the second bust, was made during MacDonald's term as Prime Minister from 1931 to 1935.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 400
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Jacob Epstein: Portrait Sculptor (30 March 2013 - 24 November 2013)
Events of 1934back to top
Current affairsSir Stafford Cripps represents the miners of Gresford Colliery in Wrexham at an inquiry into the recent gas explosion and fire which killed 263 miners, and three rescue workers in one of the worst mining disasters in British history.
Art and sciencePercy Shaw invents 'Cat's eyes'. The development of road reflectors increased safety on the roads at night and proved to be particularly useful during the wartime blackout. They are still used today.
Dylan Thomas published his first volume of poetry, 18 Poems.
InternationalStalin and Hitler consolidate dictatorial power by 'purging' their opponents. In the Soviet Union, members of the Communist Party and particular sectors of society such as the intelligentsia were targeted in the 'Great Purge', while in Germany Hitler murdered hundreds of potential opponents in the SA during the 'Night of the Long Knives'.
Thousands in the USA are forced to flee their homes to escape the Dust Bowl storms.