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Maquette for 'Boat People Memorial'
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Leeds Museums and Galleries

Maquette for 'Boat People Memorial' 1984

John Bridgeman (1916–2004)

Leeds Museums and Galleries

Sculptor and teacher, working in fibreglass, plastics, concrete, bronze and ciment fondu. He was born in Felixstowe, Suffolk, studied at Colchester School of Art with Barry Hart and Edward J Morss, later at Royal College of Art, 1947–9, with Frank Dobson. Bridgeman won the Otto Beit sculpture award in 1947. After working as a letter-carver for Misha Black’s Design Research Unit in 1951, and contributing big panels to the Dome of Discovery at the Festival of Britain, he was appointed head of sculpture at Carlisle College of Art in 1951. He became head of Birmingham Polytechnic school of sculpture, 1956–81, succeeding William Bloye. Bridgeman’s idiosyncratic and democratic method of running a sculpture school inspired loyalty from his students, who refused to join the widespread revolt of the late 1960s at such centres as Hornsey College of Art.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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