The Twentieth Century Society works to protect outstanding sculpture and murals of our period, as well as buildings. Campaigns have included getting sculptures by William Mitchell listed, negotiating a reprieve for some of the Paolozzi murals at Tottenham Court Road underground station, and the listing of Dorothy Annan’s murals. Our murals campaign site showcases a number of outstanding murals, some of which have, alas, since been demolished.
The Society was consulted during Historic England’s review of post-war public art, and were delighted at the recent announcement that over 40 works of art have been listed. These listings are just the beginning of a wider recognition of post-war sculpture, and if you are aware of further examples then now is the time to put them forward. The sculptures need to be 30 years old (from the date of installation) unless they are at risk, and can be freestanding or wall-mounted, including relief panels and mosaics. We are keen to find works by lesser-known artists, and to have a wide geographical spread. Historic England have produced this guide to Public Art 1945-95, which you may find useful. If you have suggestions please email details with a photograph and location or GPS to firstname.lastname@example.org with Public Art in the subject line.
The Historic England exhibition Out There runs at Somerset House until 10 April, and follows the fates and fortunes of site-specific sculptures and reliefs by artists including Ralph Brown, Geoffrey Clarke, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Paul Mount. The exhibition includes a bowl by Dorothy Annan that was donated to the Society by her son Sebastian Tennant, in appreciation of our work in protecting her Farringdon Street mural, which has now been relocated to the Barbican.
In association with this exhibition, C20 Society has organised several events. Two London sculpture walks, both led by Alexandra Epps, took place in February and Sculpture Walk leaflets showing these walks are on sale online, at the exhibition and at C20 events. Elain Harwood will lead two trips to look at sculpture in Harlow, by coach on 6 March and by cycle on 17 April.
In addition, we are holding a Study Day on the conservation of post-war public sculpture at Somerset House on 18 March. This would be valuable for anyone with a professional interest in conserving modern sculpture, such as those working for local authorities or institutions who own C20 public art. If you would like to attend, please email email@example.com for further details of how to register.