Biography

Albert Toft came from a family of Staffordshire artists in pottery and silverwork. He was apprenticed as a modeller at Wedgwood's, then after evening classes locally went on to the Royal College of Art in London where he studied under Lanteri. His earliest works exhibited at the Royal Academy were mainly portrait busts, such as George Wallis (London, Victoria and Albert Museum, R.A. I890)

He also began to develop ideal works, some in bust form -- In the sere and yellow leaf (R.A. 1892 and 1893) -- others in the form of figure statues such as Fate-led: Fate leading, she must needs go on and on of 1890 and 1892, a full-length nude now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. In fact, Toft produced a series of statues of naked ladies with fancy titles, as did ; other Toft examples include Spring (Birmingham City Art Gallery, R.A. 1897) and The Spirit of Gontemplation (Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, R.A. I90l and I903). Spielmann wrote that this '. . . is the most complete of all Mr Toft's works. Life-size, it is a beautiful representation of the female form, original, almost daring, in its simple arrangement, decorative with praiseworthy self-restraint, dignified and refined.' Toft was also responsible for South African War memorials in Cardiff and Birmingham. ‐ Read, Victorian Sculpture, 352.

Portraits

War Memorials

Nudes and figure studies

Other works

Other works not illustrated

References

Beattie, Susan. The New Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.

Bowman, Robert. Sir Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture. London: The Fine Art Society, 2008.

British Sculpture 1850-1914. A loan exhibition of sculpture and medals sponsored by The Victorian Society. London: Fine Art Society, 1968.

Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

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


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Last modified 4 May 2014