Edward Bainbridge Copnall

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Edward Bainbridge Copnall
Born 29 August 1903
Cape Town, South Africa
Died 18 October 1973(1973-10-18) (aged 70)
Littleborne, Kent, England
Nationality British
Education Goldsmiths College, Royal Academy
Known for Sculpture
Awards MBE

Edward Bainbridge Copnall MBE (29 August 1903 – 18 October 1973) was a British sculptor and painter. Best known for his architectural and decorative sculptures featuring allegorical and religious subjects.[1] He was the President of the Royal Society of Sculptors from 1961 to 1966.

Early life and career[edit]

Architectural Aspiration (1934), at RIBA, Portland Place, London

Edward Bainbridge Copnall was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1903 and moved to Horsham, West Sussex in England as a young child after the death of his mother. His father, photographer Edward White Copnall (born 1878, Isle of Wight), lived and worked in Horsham from 1915 to 1962.[2] His uncle was Liverpool-based portrait painter Frank Thomas Copnall (1870–1948).[3] The Copnall family have a long association with Horsham, the street Copnall Way is named after them.[4]

The exterior sculptural scheme for the Royal Institute of British Architects new building in Portland Place, London, completed in 1934, was an important early commission.[4]

In the Second World War, he worked as a camouflage officer in the Middle East, building dummies as part of the military deception for Operation Crusader.[5] Copnall lived in Burma from 1955 to 1956, and completed 50–60 paintings,[6] mainly portraits, during that time. He was also commissioned to do a memorial of General Aung San, the first Prime Minister of Free Burma. The statue was unveiled in Burma in 1955.[4]

He was president of the Royal Society of British Sculptors from 1961 to 1966. Bainbridge Copnall wrote A Sculptor's Manual, published in 1971, and Cycles: An Autobiography – The Life and Work of a Sculptor, published in 2001. His son is artist John Copnall (1928–2007).

Notable works[edit]



  1. ^ Chilvers, Ian; Glaves-Smith, John, eds. (2009). "Copnall, Edward Bainbridge". A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford University Press. p. 156. ISBN 9780199239658. 
  2. ^ Slyfield, Brian (September 2002). "EW Copnall – photographer of nawabs, rajahs, even British royalty" (PDF). The Horsham Society Newsletter: 56. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Portrait of His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (1892 -1975 ) wearing the order of the Garter". Artware fine art. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Copnall, Edward Bainbridge (1903–1973) Sculptor". Your Archives. The National Archives. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Barkas, Geoffrey (1952). The Camouflage Story: from Aintree to Alamein. Cassell. p. 141. 
  6. ^ Ranard, Andrew (2009). Burmese Painting: A Linear and Lateral History. Silkworm Books. ISBN 9789749511763. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Whither". Art UK. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Windsor, Alan, ed. (2003). "Edward Bainbrigde Copnall MBE PRBS". British Sculptors of the Twentieth Century. Ashgate. ISBN 9781859284568. 
  9. ^ Wuellner, Margarita J.; et al, (2009). "Final Inventory Report: Survey of Original of Fine and Decorative Arts on the Royal Mail Ship Queen Mary" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "St. James's Theatre, King Street, London, SW1". arthurlloyd.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "Church removes 'scary crucifix'". BBC News. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  12. ^ Pidd, Helen (6 January 2009). "Vicar has 'horrifying' statue of crucifixion removed from church". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 

External links[edit]