The Flower and the Green Leaf: Glasgow School of Art in the Time of Charles Rennie Mackintosh by Ray McKenzie
Glasgow School of Art is known the world over for the pivotal part it played in the creation of the ‘Glasgow Style' and for the radical originality of the building it commissioned from Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1897. But while the building itself – known universally as ‘Mackintosh's Masterwork' – has been examined and analysed in a multitude of publications, very little attention has so far been paid to the activities that went on within it. In setting out to fill this major gap, The Flower and the Green Leaf reveals the centrality of sculpture in the development of the School's innovative curriculum. The work of the Department of Modelling and Sculpture is explored in detail in a special chapter by the book's editor, Ray McKenzie, who unravels the complex web of pedagogic, creative and professional relations that evolved between the cohorts of teachers and students who had the good fortune to be the first to work in Mackintosh's splendid new studios. It throws fresh light on the teaching practices and career paths of local sculptors such as Johann Keller, Albert Hodge and Alexander Proudfoot, while providing new insights into the formative experiences of sculptors who went on to achieve major national reputations, such as William Reid Dick and George Alexander. It also reveals the crucial support the Department received throughout its early years by many London- well as international figures such as the Belgian Charles Vanderstappen, and Paul Wayland Bartlett from the USA. All this is set within the wider pedagogical framework of the School as a whole in a study that will be of interest to anybody concerned with the development of British sculpture in the early twentieth century, and the educational values in which it was grounded.
Hardback £25, ISBN: 978-1-906817-26-8; paperback £15, ISBN 978-1-906817-27-5
Copies are available for PMSA members at the special discount price of £20 (hardback) and £13 (paperback) from:
Luath Press Ltd, 543/2 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2 ND , tel +44 (0)131 225 4326
P & P is free for UK orders; overseas, please add £3.50. Please mark your envelope ‘PMSA OFFER' when sending your remittance.
A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851 by Ingrid Roscoe, Emma Hardy and M.G. Sullivan
Rupert Gunnis's Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1951 (revised 1968), a remarkable achievement in its day, provides the starting point for the new dictionary, which also makes use of his extensive unpublished archive. Since his time much has been written on British sculpture and this dictionary draws on more than 3,000 relevant publications, original manuscripts, and information generously provided by the scholarly community, to rewrite all the major lives and add over 1,000 new ones. The aim has been to produce a work of reference that meets the highest modern academic standards, whilst retaining the humour and anecdotal flavour of Gunnis's book. The new dictionary is intended as an essential starting point for the next generation of sculpture historians, but is also useful to those with a general interest in British cultural history.
Published 8 September 2009. 1616 pp., 234 x 160mm.
This book is published by Yale University Press and can be ordered from their website at:
To find out more information about The Gunnis Project visit their website:
Coventry: Hidden in Plain Sight by Clare Selley
Containing over 300 photographs of the 'hidden' Coventry and highly illustrated throughout, this book takes you on a visual tour of the City. "Coventry: Hidden in Plain Sight" is a book showcasing the hidden side of Coventry - the side that people walk past every day and don't see, or have tuned out of sight. From the splendor of the new St. Michael's Cathedral, to the undercroft of the original St Mary's Priory, and from modern sculpture to worn stonework, this unique book takes you on a visual tour of Coventry city centre. The only colour photobook of the modern Coventry, "Coventry: Hidden in Plain Sight" has over 300 photographs taken by the author who has lived in Coventry for eight years and along with the captions builds up a usually unnoticed view of Coventry. The book also provides a look at Coventry for tourists who may not have the time to see everything that the city has to offer, and provides them with a lasting reminder of their visit, as well as providing high quality images for them to show friends and family, lasting much longer than a postcard. In addition, many people who have lived in Coventry, and current residents, will find something new and interesting in the book - something that's been hidden in plain sight.
Published October 2009. 192 pp., 228 x 228mm.
This book is published by Breedon Books Publishing Co. Ltd. and is available through Amazon and good bookshops
The Glorious Dead by Geoff Archer
Certain events are so momentous that nobody can at first fully comprehend. This was true when attempting to assess the terrible war of 1914-18, but also of the period afterwards, when the people of Britain tried to come to terms with how to remember their dead. In most places the answer was through an inert obelisk, cross or slab, but in larger towns the decision was made to impart remembrance through figurative sculpture. It is the largest input of public sculpture Britain has ever known.
The Glorious Dead presents the viewer with the sculptor's task, naming the variety of ideas, emotions and motives and how they all translated into imagery fit for the town square and the carved list of names. Looking at hundreds of pictures, one memorial shows a dead body under a sheet, another has a tommy with a bayonet at the ready; here the figure of winged Victory towers above our heads while elsewhere mothers and daughters in metal and stone weep for evermore. Why the differences? And why has there never been an art explanation until now?
Geoff Archer is an art teacher and practising painter who took over ten years to research sculpture associated with Britain's 1st World War Memorials. His book opens with images of volunteers leaving home. Then follows ‘The Realities of War', where we see sculpted machines and trenches as in CS Jagger's Artillery Memorial. The last part, ‘Remembering', has figures of ‘Peace', ‘Victory', or ‘Honour'' and in a rare statue in Skipton, John Cassidy's allegory of youth breaks a sword over his knee. The photos, mostly those of the author, not only illustrate the text but stand alone as art images.
The author notes the ‘critical dismissal' of memorial sculpture but seeks out certain WW1 memorial figures which stand comparison with the best public sculpture anywhere. In fact, while already acknowledged masters such as Frampton, Toft and Drury designed memorials, there were others like Jagger and Ledward who made their reputations with them in the 1920s. We also hear of less known sculptors such as John Angel, A.Carrick, Walter Gilbert, Louis Roslyn and Hermon Cawthra.
Women are shown not just as mothers and daughters of the slain, but also as nurses, munitions workers, even goddesses and angels. Add to this the importance of women in decision making and fund raising for memorials, the temporary suspension of Suffragism and the fact that some of the sculptors were women. To name a few these were Phyllis Bone, Jennifer Delahunt and Kathleen Scott.
Geoff Archer has filled a missing gap in 20th century sculpture studies, redeeming the war memorial sculpture of the 1920s to the canon of British art history. To open his book is an initiation.
Published 6 November 2009. 416 pp., 247 x 172mm.
This book is published by Frontier Publishing and can be ordered from their website at:
A User's Guide to Public Sculpture by the PMSA and English Heritage (edited by Johanna Darke)
This is a pocket-size guide to public sculpture. The reader is introduced to nine sculpture walks in Newcastle, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham, Nottingham, Norwich, Bristol, Winchester and London. Historical information, provided and selected by a team of art historians of renown, is complemented by maps, highlighting all the most important sculptural sites. The book is illustrated with a series of breathtaking photographs which invite the reader to discover new ways of looking at monuments and sculptures in our streets, parks and open spaces. The guide, edited by Jo Darke (PMSA) and with an introduction by Richard Cork, is a formidable reminder of the richness of our heritage.
180 pp., 210 x 150 mm
ISBN: 1-85074776-8 (p/b)
The book retails at £7.95 (incl. p&p) and can be ordered from:
English Heritage Postal Sales,
Knights of Old Limited,
Northampton NN15 6XU.
Tel: 01536 533500
Fax: 01536 533501
Please quote product code XD20025.
Sculpture in Bristol by Douglas Merritt
A survey of public sculpture in Bristol, ranging from Rysbrack's William III, the country's finest equestrian statue, to contemporary work in and around Millennium Square. More than 70 works are described and illustrated under the headings: commemorative, decorative, fountains and modern. Biographies of all sculptors are included. Each profiled sculpture is illustrated in colour and identified on a location map.
144 pp., 210 x 240mm.
ISBN: 1900178834 (pb)
This book is published by Redcliffe Press and can be ordered via their website: