Jessie Lipscomb

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Jessie Lipscomb
Jessie Lipscomb (right) and Camille Claudel in their Paris studio
Jessie Lipscomb (right) and Camille Claudel in their Paris studio
Born(1861-06-13)13 June 1861
Died12 January 1952(1952-01-12) (aged 90)
Years active1882-1887

Jessie Lipscomb (13 June 1861 – 12 January 1952) was an English sculptor.

Early life[edit]

Jessie Lipscomb was born in Grantham in 1861, the daughter of a colliery agent and a barmaid. In 1875, the family moved to Peterborough. She attended the Royal College of Art which was at that time called the National Art Training School in South Kensington. She won the Queen's Prize in 1882 and the National Silver Medal in 1883, after which she visited Paris with a view to continuing her education. Two previous graduates of the National Art Training School - Amy Singer and Emily Fawcett - were already living in Paris, and sharing a studio with the young Camille Claudel. In January 1884 Camille's mother wrote to Jessie confirming the arrangement that Jessie would lodge with the Claudel family for 200 francs a month.

In 1886 Jessie and Camille travelled together to England where they visited Jessie's family in Peterborough. At this time Jessie was exhibiting a terra-cotta bust Day Dreams (1886) in the Royal Academy, and in Nottingham.

Lipscomb's relationship to Claudel soured and Claudel claimed never to want to see Lipscomb again. However, Lipscomb was one of the few people to visit Claudel many years later when the latter was confined in the Montdevergues Asylum.


In 1887 she exhibited another terra-cotta piece entitled Sans Souci, and a plaster portrait of Camille Claudel. That year she also exhibited a bust of the Italian model Giganti in both the Royal Academy and Nottingham.

Personal life[edit]

She married William Elborne on 26 December 1887 and they settled in Manchester.

In popular culture[edit]

Maggie Ritchie's 2015 novel Paris Kiss focuses on the relationship between Jessie Lipscomb and Camille Claudel, and offers a highly fictionalized version of Claudel and Rodin's affair.


  • Camille Claudel: A Life by Odile Ayral-Clause
  • Correspondence by Camille Claudel

External links[edit]