Sculpture is often ‘something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting’, in the words of American abstract artist Ad Reinhardt. Now that most of the sculpture in public collections is on Art UK, you may want to know more about it, and via Art Detective you can.
Difficult to handle, easily damaged, tricky to interpret and display, much sculpture loses its identity and becomes anonymous, particularly when it has gone out of fashion. Museums and art galleries have often relegated sculpture to basements and stores, or hidden corners of museums – in the 1970s and 1980s this was the fate of E. H. Baily’s Eve Listening to the Voice (1842), once regarded as a work to compare in beauty and sentiment with Canova’s, and replicated many times over.
Beyond the museum is public sculpture in our towns and cities, on streets, squares, parks and gardens. These are historic and cultural markers, the work of sculptors once famous, sometimes world-famous, recording individuals and events significant at a particular time and place.
All those questions as to who, what, when and why can now be posed and, we hope, answered, and much more information will come to light in the process. Join us and enjoy enhancing the record of public sculpture in the UK.