SCULPTURE

The Watford Museum sculpture collection is predominantly made up of works in bronze, copper and steel, adopting many different styles in welding and patination.  The eldest was produced during the 19th century with others ranging through the late 20th century.  For a number of the sculptures size and scale are significant characteristics, with works as small as 15cm tall compared with an impressive Shire horse, named Hercules, standing at nearly 80cm.  There are pieces relating directly to Watford’s history, including busts of Mary Bromet, and of the first and second Mayors of the Borough.  However, the majority of the works were donated by Arnold F Thompson, a past Watford resident.

Thompson was a significant local collector and his immense generosity means he is responsible for gifting 31 of the 37 sculptures in the Watford collection.  Born in 1910, Arnold Thompson grew up in Watford where he attended the Boys Grammar School.  In 1936, he began his working career with John Dickinson and Co., the paper manufacturers at Nash Mill.  He moved to their London office and finally to Nottingham, where he became Area Manager.  On his retirement in 1973 he received a long service certificate which hangs in the museum.

While working in London, Thompson began collecting sculpture.  His first purchase was Epstein’s bust of Olive which he found at Cameo Corner in Museum Street, opposite the British Museum.  Its owner, Moshe Oyyed introduced Thompson to Epstein, marking the beginning of their long relationship, fuelled by their mutual love of African an Oceanic sculpture.  A second sculpture came to Thompson’s attention when he visited the Regional and Midland Group of Artists and Designers, held in Nottingham.  This was the young Ronald Pope, whom he sought out at his remote cottage in Derbyshire.  Thompson forged another close friendship with Pope lasting until his death in 1995 and collected many works by the sculptor, now in the collection.

Watford Museum is honoured to have been the recipient of such a significant collection, donated in four parts during the 1980s.

Mary Bromet

George Herbert Hyde de Villier, 6th Earl of Clarendon Date unknown

Mary Bromet

Aldenham Ralph Alfred Thorpe 1927

Charles Dyson-Smith

Mourning Widows 1945

Charles Browne

Hercules, The Shire Horse 1977

Sir Jacob Epstein

Adam & Eve 1938

Sir Jacob Epstein

The Burial of Abel 1938

Sir Jacob Epstein

Strand Head Before 1917

Sir Jacob Epstein

Olive 1934

Sir Jacob Epstein

Mark Joffe 1952

Mario Negri

Seated Woman c.1975

Ronald Pope

Earth Goddess 1974

Ronald Pope

Pomona 1975

Ronald Pope

Pomona 1975

Ronald Pope

Pomona, bound 1975

Ronald Pope

Pomona 1975

Ronald Pope

Pomona 1975

Ronald Pope

Pomona 1975

Ronald Pope

Cello Player 1972

Ronald Pope

Study of the Head of a Bishop 1973

Ronald Pope

Duo 1975

Ronald Pope

Girl in a Hurry 1985

Ronald Pope

Maze 1976

Ronald Pope

Group of Four 1984

Ronald Pope

Study of the Head of a Musician 1985

Ronald Pope

Passing Crowd 1983-86

Ronald Pope

Passing Crowd I 1983-86

Ronald Pope

Passing Crowd II 1983-86

Ronald Pope

The Rehearsal 1985

Ronald Pope

Silent Homage 1984

Ronald Pope

Standing Figure of a Girl 1975

Ronald Pope

Predator 1986

Ronald Pope

Three Standing Figures 1986

Ronald Pope

Rite 1978

Ronald Pope

Captives c.1985

Takaaki

Japanese Peasant Girl Date unknown

Unknown Sculptor

An Inuit Hunting a Seal Date unknown

LOCATION

194 High Street

Watford

WD17 2DT

OPENING HOURS

Saturdays only (from 1 August)
10am to 5pm

FREE ADMISSION

 

CONTACT US

Tel: 01923 232297

info@watfordmuseum.org.uk

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