CFP: Emigre Sculptors in Britain 1600-2016

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association
in collaboration with
City and Guilds of London Art School
The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA), in collaboration with the City and Guilds of London Art School, presents a two-day conference in London, on 26 and 27 May 2016, looking at émigré sculptors working in Britain between the year 1600 and the present day.
NPG 5910; Benjamin Britten by Georg Ehrlich
by Georg Ehrlich, plaster cast for bronze head, 1951


The conference has a broad remit, and we are interested in hearing from scholars exploring a wide range of themes relating to the experience, reception and artistic activity of émigré sculptors who came to Britain between 1600 and the present day. Of course this might well include those who were forced to leave their home countries due to political, social or religious pressures, such as those fleeing Nazi persecution in the 1930s, but we are also interested in papers on artists who chose freely to migrate to Britain, whether permanently or temporarily.


Some topics that might be of interest include:


  • The ways in which émigré sculptors through the ages have contributed to the development of British sculpture.
  • Ways in which émigré sculptors ‘denationalised’ or ‘internationalised’ British sculpture, however this may be defined.
  • Questions of gender in the experiences and/or work of émigré sculptors in Britain.
  • The politics of the émigré sculptor.
  • The extent to which émigré sculptors brought new materials, techniques, ideas and approaches to sculpture to Britain, and how influential these were.
  • The possible difficulties émigré sculptors might have had in integrating into the structures of British sculpture, and the subsequent histories of ‘British’ art, and of course their successes in doing this.
  • Possible networks established by émigré sculptors to offer mutual support.
However, we are very interested in hearing also from scholars whose research might fall outside the parameters of this list.


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