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The Kennington Frieze
The Kennington Frieze

© courtesy of the family of the artist. Photo credit: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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Notes

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Eric Kennington was an artist who specialised in stone carving and was an Official War Artist in the First World War. During the 1920s, Kennington created a number of war memorials, and would later create stone carvings for the façade of new buildings. This stone frieze was intended to be situated above the School's Keppel Street entrance. The panel depicts a mother and child being protected from a fanged serpent by a nude, bearded, knife-wielding father. However, due to the display of male genitalia, the trustees of the School would not allow it to be placed above the School's entrance unless the artist, Eric Kennington, added a loin cloth. He refused and the work was placed above the entrance of the library where it remains today. The panel was painted over to disguise the cracks and damage that appeared when the Library’s mezzanine floor was constructed in 1966.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

London

Title

The Kennington Frieze

Date

c.1928–1929

Medium

plaster

Measurements

H 120 x W 235 x D (?) cm (E)

Accession number

ART11

Work type

Panel

Signature/marks description

bottom right: EHK

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Normally on display at

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Keppel Street, London, Greater London WC1E 7HT England

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