Books

Working Against the Grain: Women Sculptors in Britain c.1885 – 1950

ISBN: 9781789621563
Author(s): Pauline Rose
Format: hardback
Year published: 2020
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Total Pages: 336
Illustrations: Illustrated

£30.00

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This lavishly illustrated book breaks new ground in focusing on some of the many successful professional British women sculptors active during this period. Largely unknown, the few women who have been mentioned in histories of twentieth century British sculpture have been those who adhered to the (masculine) Modernist canon. Organized by theme this book explores and illustrates an unusually large number of and stylistically varied works. The social and cultural contexts in which these women sculptors were working are investigated, revealing how, mostly male, commentators often fixated on their gender at the expense of seriously engaging with their work. A wide variety of sources are used, ranging from contemporary art historical accounts to articles in popular magazines. This book explores contemporary sculptural developments, art school training, exhibiting opportunities, and the writings of influential critics. It also reveals how important photography, film and the written word were in the creation of reputations. Alongside revealing important works and individuals, this book’s originality also lies in its scope, covering diverse sculptural genres such as decorative sculpture and utilitarian objects for the home and garden; portraits and statues; architectural sculpture, war memorials and ecclesiastical work.

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