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Remembering the Icon Maker

Date: 10/11/2014

A public event today (10th November) in the Palace of Westminster will remember a WW2 soldier who went on to create significant war memorials and public statues.

The 35th anniversary of the unveiling of the statue of Clement Attlee by Ivor Roberts-Jones in the Member's Lobby of the House of Commons will be marked with a lecture in Whitehall today.

Dr Jonathan Black (Kingston University) will discuss Roberts-Jones (1913-1996), a solider-artist who ought in the Burma Campaign in the Second World War. He went on to create many significant public sculptures in and around the Palace of Westminster, including the iconic statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, which was famously given a grass Mohican by anti-capitalist protestors.

Appropriately for the day before Armistice Day in this centenary year, Dr Black argues that Roberts-Jones followed in the footsteps of Charles Sargeant Jagger, a tough Yorkshire man who won the Military Cross for bravery and who later created some of the best-known memorials of the First World War.

Although most artists these days attend art school and gain formal training, in his day, Roberts-Jones was part of a generation who actually experienced the trauma of war and whose depiction of servicemen was to have lasting impact at services of remembrance across the nation.

As Dr Black explains: Roberts-Jones was the last of his kind. The last in a tradition of great icon-makers that goes back to the Great War: the last creator of images of heroes.

Despite being a largely unfamiliar name, Black says, Roberts-Jones should be understood as a major British twentieth century sculptor of public memorials and portrait busts. This free event will be an opportunity to learn more about this important British artist and the iconic work in London which he created.

Book your free tickets for this lecture at Eventbrite.

For further information contact Alex Pryce (AHRC) on a.pryce@ahrc.ac.uk or 01793 41 6025

Notes to Editors:

  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.www.ahrc.ac.uk
  • Dr Black is a Senior Research Fellow in History of Art at Dorich House Museum, Kingston University. Through a Fellowship funded by the AHRC, he has produced a book and accompanying exhibitions on the work of the British sculptor Ivor Roberts-Jones.


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