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Mr. Albert A. Bruce-Joy R.H.A., a pupil of South Kensington, of the Royal Academy schools, and of John Foley, has displayed great perserverance through his career. The list of his works is so long that — the expression is used in no uncomplimentary sense — it is surprising that they are so good. Among his many statues, some of them colossal, are to be included the "Gladstone," erected in front of Bow Church, London; "Lord Frederick Caendish," at Barrow-in-Furness; "John Bright," at Manchester, here reproduced, and another at Birmingliam; and the "Harvey Tercentenary Memorial" at Folkestone, one of the sculptor's most felicitous compositions. Of his numerous busts the best known are the bronze of "Mr. Fergusson, of Dundee," excellent in character; " Ford Farnborough" (Mr. Erskine Ma), in marble in the House of Commons; "Miss Mary Anderson;" and "Lord Salisbury," at the Mansion House, London. The memorials include the "Codrington" and the "Montgomery" in St. Paul's, the "Lord Cairns" at Lincoln's Inn, and the "Archbishop Benson" in Rugby School Chapel. In America Mr. Bruce-Joy modelled the Ayer Colossal Lion for Lowell, Boston, and left other works behind him.

In spite of these many important commissions Mr. Bruce-Joy has found time to execute quite a number of ideal works, of which "The First Flight" a figure of a little girl setting a young bird free — must be accorded the palm for its pretty sentiment, its charming design, and delicate and careful modelling. Then there is the "Woman and Child" ("Röschen von Taubenhayn"), "The Forsaken," together with the Biblical "Moses and the Brazen Serpent," and the classic "Thetis and Achilles."

It may be said that there is such a "setness " and a solidity about Mr. Bruce-Joy's statues that they never suggest the possibility of their stepping down from their plinths. They are invariably very like the persons they represent — a quality of which committees and subscribers throughout the country have frequently shown their warm appreciation. Some artists, brilliant in ideal work, sometimes find difficulty in securing a true resemblance, even the most usual — a defect never found in the portraiture of iMr. Bruce-Joy. The feature of his work lies in his securing the everyday look of the sitter so that all may recognise him instantly; and his rejection of the occasional look which many artists would seize upon as the most characteristic has won him no little popularity. It thus comes about that not a few of Mr. Bruce-Joy's largest statues are highly successful without being absolutely "great" in the fuller accceptation of the word. [24]

References

Spielmann, Marion Harry. British Sculpture and Sculptors of Today. London: Cassell, 1901. Internet Archive. Web. 22 December 2011.


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Last modified 25 December 2011