Shakespeare counted seven ages, but this sculptor found more than twice that number. However, his sculptures on the facade of a medical building in London raised more of a ruckus than Patch Adams' (as portrayed by Robin Williams) for the gynecologists' conference. Why?
#103257. Asked by queproblema. (Feb 22 09 7:26 PM)
The sculptor in question is the revered (and reviled) Sir Jacob Epstein.|
His first first major commission was 18 large nude sculptures made in 1908 for the façade of Charles Holden's building for the British Medical Association on The Strand (now Zimbabwe House) were initially considered shocking to Edwardian sensibilities.
Epstein carved a set of male and female nudes, which were intended as "noble and heroic forms to express in sculpture the great primal acts of man and woman." These figures were gradually revealed to the public as the scaffolding was removed in June and July 1908.
The uncovering of the first five statues prompted an article in the Evening Standard on 19 June castigating the exposure of nudity to the public gaze when it properly belonged only in art galleries. On the 11 July the British Medical Journal reported that "the whole Strand opposite was packed with people, most of them girls and young men, all staring up at the statues."
The figure which drew the most outrage was Maternity, a realistic depiction of a pregnant woman. Demands were made for the removal of the statues, but Epstein was supported by artists, clergymen and the director of the National Gallery, which enabled the BMA to resist these demands.
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