Edward Onslow Ford
Edward Onslow Ford (27 July 1852 – 23 December 1901), English sculptor, was born in London. He received some education as a painter in Antwerp and as a sculptor in Munich under Professor Wagmüller, but was mainly self-taught.
His first contribution to the Royal Academy, in 1875, was a bust of his wife, the Freiin (Baroness) Gwendoline von Kreusser, whom he met and married during his time in Munich. In portraiture he may be said to have achieved his greatest success. His busts are always extremely refined and show his sitters at their best. Those (in bronze) of his fellow-artists Arthur Hackcoucoyer (1894), Briton Rivière and Sir WQ Orchardson (1895), Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1896), Sir Hubert von Herkomer and Sir John Everett Millais (1897), and of AJ Balfour are all striking likenesses, and are equalled by that in marble of Sir Frederick Bramwell (for the Royal Institution) and by many more.
He gained the open competition for the statue of Sir Rowland Hill, erected in 1882 outside the Royal Exchange, and followed it in 1883 with Henry Irving as Hamlet, now in the Guildhall Art Gallery. This seated statue, good as it is, was soon surpassed by those of Dr Dale (1898, in the city museum, Birmingham) and Professor Huxley (1900), but the colossal memorial statue of Queen Victoria (1901), for Manchester, was less successful.
The standing statue of William Ewart Gladstone (1894, for the City Liberal Club, London) is to be regarded as one of Ford's better portrait works. The colossal General Charles Gordon, camel-mounted, for Chatham, Lord Strathnairn, an equestrian group for Knightsbridge, and the Maharajah of Mysore (1900) comprise his larger works of the kind. A beautiful nude recumbent statue of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1892) upon a cleverly designed base is the centrepiece of the Shelley Memorial at University College, Oxford. Ford's ideal work has great charm and daintiness; his statue Folly (1886) was bought by the trustees of the Chantrey Fund, and was followed by other statues or statuettes of a similar order: Peace (1890), which secured his election as an associate of the Royal Academy, Echo (1895), on which he was elected full member, The Egyptian Singer (also known as The Singer) (1889), Applause (1893), Glory to the Dead (1901) and Snowdrift (exhibited posthumously, 1902).
Ford's influence on the younger generation of sculptors was considerable, and of good effect. His charming disposition rendered him extremely popular, and when he died a monument was erected to his memory (C Lucchesi sculptor, J W Simpson, architect) in St John's Wood, near to where he dwelt. His obituary in The Sketch, dated Jan 1 1902, states that he died of pneumonia exacerbated by a weak heart.
A statue in his memory is across from the white zebra crossing made famous by the Beatles at Abbey Road Studios, London
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ford, Edward Onslow". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- A Handbook for Travellers in India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon at Page 121. Author - Laurence Frederic Rushbrook Williams
- The Victorian Web
- Bob Speel's Site
- Art Renewal Center
- The Snowdrift – National Museums, Liverpool
- Peace - Flickr photo by Sheepdog Rex
- Tate Gallery Online
- Tate Britain: rare 19th and early 20th century sculpture - set by ketrin1407 on Flickr featuring works by Ford and others
- The Muse Transformed - Flickr composite photo by rayyaro, comparing The Muse of Poetry after and before restoration
- In Focus: The Singer exhibited 1889 and Applause 1893 by Edward Onslow Ford (index page to a set of articles about the two works)
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|Ford's statue The Snowdrift|