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Design model - Plaster cast of thorns

Plaster cast of thorns

  • Object:

    Design model

  • Date:

    late 1990s - ca. 2001 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Smith, Keir, born 1950 - died 2007 (artist)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the artist

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case ABOVE CUPBOARD DW 112, shelf BOTTOM SHELF

Keir Smith designed and made Fragments from the Origin of the Crown, a bronze sculpture, in 2000. This was chosen for inclusion in Close Encounters of the Art Kind, a collaborative project between artist and initiator Colin Painter, the V&A Contemporary Programme, and six sculptors. The project involved the selection of six households which each housed the six sculptures, one at a time for a month each. The final product was an exhibition at the V&A, with the sculptures, photographs of them in the various host homes, and the thoughts of the artists and the sculptors exhibited alongside.

Smith's work often takes images from Italian Renaissance paintings, which he translates into three-dimensional pieces. The title of this work refers to the crown of thorns, worn by Christ on his way to His crucifixion; the sculpture itself takes the form of roses and lilies - the flowers usually associated with the Virgin Mary - but Smith has added thorns to the stems of the lilies as well as the rose. He has said that all his recent sculptures are religious works, part of a continuing tradition, and not intended to be ironic in any way. Asked about this piece, he concluded "My work is a meditation on death, and has been for as long as I can remember."

Physical description

Design model, plaster cast of thorns, relating to the sculpture, 'Fragments From the Origin of the Crown'.


late 1990s - ca. 2001 (made)


Smith, Keir, born 1950 - died 2007 (artist)


Height: 3.6 cm, Width: 4.5 cm, Depth: 1.5 cm

Descriptive line

Design model, plaster cast of thorns relating to the sculpture 'Fragments From the Origin of the Crown' by Keir Smith, about 2000

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Smith, Keir. Enclosed Garden. London: Wimbledon School of Art, 2001. Catalogue of the exhibition held in the Cloisters of Lincoln Cathedral, July - October 2001. ISBN I 872482570.
Keir Smith. Towards the Eremitani. Maidstone: Maidstone Library Gallery, 2000. Catalogue of the exhibition held at the Maidstone Library Gallery, 29 January - 11 March 2000. ISBN 1901509389.
Keir Smith. The Vault of the Scalzi: Sculpture and Drawings by Keir Smith. Maidstone: The County Gallery, 2005. Catalogue of the exhibition held at the County Gallery 3 October - 4 November 2005.





Subjects depicted



Sculpture; Designs


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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