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Statue - Mother and Child
  • Mother and Child
    Turner, Alfred, born 1874 - died 1940
  • Enlarge image

Mother and Child

  • Object:

    Statue

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1936 (carved)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Turner, Alfred, born 1874 - died 1940 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Limestone (portland stone)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Jessica Turner, daughter of the sculptor

  • Museum number:

    A.11-1981

  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 21, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, case FS, shelf WS

Although this is not a religious piece, it recalls the stylised images of the Virgin and Child found in Byzantine and medieval art. Turner modelled works to be cast in bronze as well as carving many different types of stone. Here, the smooth surfaces of the figures make a deliberate contrast with the rough block on which they sit.

Alfred Turner trained at the South London Technical Art School under W. S. Frith (1850-1924) and worked for a time as assistant to Harry Bates (1850-1899). In 1895 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. Spielmann described Turner as a 'highly successful student of the Lambeth and Royal Academy schools, who has also studied abroad ... [and is] among the most promising of the youngest generation of sculptors now before the public'. This work is based on a smaller group exhibited by Turner at the Royal Academy in 1934 (Mus. no. 1591).

Turner, who taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy between 1905 and 1937. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1922, and became a Royal Academician in 1931. His diploma work, Dreams of Youth, is in the Royal Academy's permanent collection. His daughter Winifred was a successful sculptor in her own right. Her bronze figure of a Crouching Youth is also in the Museum's collections (Mus. no. A.12-1981). The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, held a joint exhibition of work by father and daughter in 1988.

Physical description

The mother is shown hieratically, dressed in a simple classicising robe, seated with bent arms, her forearms raised. She gestures with her hands, her left hand pointing upwards as if requesting silence. The naked child sits upright, resting asleep against the mother's left arm.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1936 (carved)

Artist/maker

Turner, Alfred, born 1874 - died 1940 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Limestone (portland stone)

Dimensions

Height: 103 cm incl base, Width: 35.5 cm at base, Depth: 43.5 cm at base

Object history note

Given together with Mus. no. A.12-1981 by the artist's daughter Miss Jessica Turner, London, in 1981.

Descriptive line

Statue, limestone, Mother and Child, by Alfred Turner (1874-1940), England, ca. 1936

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

Bilbey, Diane with Trusted, Marjorie, British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2002, p. 469, cat. no. 761
Penny, Nicholas, ‘The Turner Sculpture Gift’, in: NACF Review, 1989, p. 136

Labels and date

Although this is not a religious piece, it recalls the stylised images of the Virgin and Child found in Byzantine and medieval art. Turner modelled works to be cast in bronze as well as carving many different types of stone. Here, the smooth surfaces of the figures make a deliberate contrast with the rough block on which they sit. [March 2007]

Materials

Limestone

Techniques

Carved

Subjects depicted

Mother and child

Categories

Sculpture; Children & Childhood; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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