William James Bloye
8 July 1890
|Died||6 June 1975 (aged 84)|
He studied, and later, taught at the Birmingham School of Art (his training was interrupted by World War I, when he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1915 to 1917; he was eventually succeeded at Birmingham by John Bridgeman), where his pupils included Gordon Herickx, Roy Kitchin, Raymond Mason, John Poole and Ian Walters. He also studied stone-carving and letter cutting under Eric Gill around 1921.
In 1925 he became a member of the Birmingham Civic Society, having, at about that time, a studio at 111, Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath, Birmingham. As Birmingham's unofficial civic sculptor he worked on virtually all public commissions including libraries, hospitals and the University. He often carved bas-relief plaques, typically for public houses in Birmingham, and decorated a number of buildings by the architect Holland W. Hobbiss.
He became a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors: associate (with the honorific suffix ARBS) in 1934, and fellow (FRBS) in 1938. He also won the latter's Otto Beit Medal. Retiring from the School of Art in 1956 he moved to Solihull. He died in Arezzo, Italy in 1975.
As of January 2010, Birmingham City Council are working on the restoration Bloye's statue of Pan at Aston Hall. The statue's head is missing, and they have appealed for old photographs, to assist in its reconstruction.
Bloye was closely associated with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA). Although the two 1919 bronze plaques at the RBSA entrance are the earliest known work by Bloye in Birmingham, he only became a member in 1930. After a period as vice-president, he became president in 1948 and served in that role until 1950. He was also the RBSA's Professor of Sculpture from at least the mid-1940s until at least 1961 (after which time the post is no longer mentioned in the annual catalogues).
The Society's permanent collection includes one of his works, a life-size plaster bust, Head of Man. It is undated and not usually on display. The subject's name is not recorded.
|Image||Title / subject||Location and
|Date||Type||Material||Dimensions||Designation||Owner / administrator||Notes|
|Allegories of Art and Industry||Over the north-west door of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (The Feeney Gallery extension), Great Charles Street
||c. 1919||Stone||Birmingham City Council|||
|Aesculapius||Chest Clinic, Great Charles Street
|Boulton, Watt and Murdoch||Broad Street
||1956||statues||Gilded Bronze||Birmingham City Council||Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch|
|Queen Victoria||Victoria Square
||1951||statue||Bronze||Birmingham City Council||Recast from a marble statue by Thomas Brock|
||c. 1936||Stone||Decoration around the doorway of a former pub (now a shop). Formerly brightly painted.|
|The Boar's Head||The Boar's Head, Perry Barr
||c. 1938||Wood||Painted pub sign comprising a model boar's head, on a pole. Taken from the arms of the Gough-Calthorpe family of nearby Perry Hall|
|Running stag||Perry Barr Stadium
||1929||Bas-relief||Stone||Logo of Birchfield Harriers. Attributed.|
|The Towers||Tower Hill, Great Barr
||1936||Stone||Bloye was responsible for all the stone carving on this brick building|
|Bronze Plaques||Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
||1919||Bronze||Formerly at the Society's old headquarters on New Street|
|Call, Front Line and Return||Hall of Memory, Broad Street
||1925||Interior bas-relief carvings|||
|'Wisdom, Fortitude, Charity, Faith'||Legal and General Assurance Building, 7 Waterloo Street
||1932||Four bas relief panels||Exterior high level bas-relief carvings.|
|Capitals and pediment sculptures||New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street
||1935||Exterior: two capitals, shield above door and upstairs pediment and putto.|
|Coat of arms and two lion reliefs||Council House, Priory Road, Dudley
||1928||Façade on Council House (Town Hall)|
|Fox and Hollybush||Acocks Green
||1927-8||Bas-relief||From former Fox Hollies pub. Now on Lidl supermarket.|
|War Memorial: George and the Dragon and lions on flagpoles||Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley
||1928||Also four bronze lions (1936) on flagpoles, Town Hall tower|
|Dudley's Past||Town Hall, corner of Priory Road and Priory Street, Dudley
||c. 1929||Bas-relief pub sign||Designed by Bloye, sculpted by his assistant, Tom Wright|
|Allegory of Painting||Former Art Gallery, Avenue Road, Leamington Spa||1929||Sandstone||Life-size female nude|
|Pan||Aston Hall, Birmingham
|Two stone vases||Aston Hall, Birmingham
||1934||Vases||Stone||Birmingham City Council|||
|Capitals and Heads||Council House, Priory Road, Dudley
|Dudley from the Wren's Nest||Council House, Priory Road, Dudley
||1935||Two reliefs||Plaster||Within building – at entrance to council chamber and entrance to committee reception room.<0ref name="NoszlopySBC" />|
|St. Nicholas Rescuing the Three Children||John Shelton School, Coventry (former)||1936||Lost after the school was demolished in 1999|
|Bear and Staff||The Bear Inn, Stratford Road, Sparkhill
||c. 1937||Bas-relief||Pub sign, depicting feature of the arms of Warwickshire, in which the area was located at the time of installation.|
|Lamp of Knowledge||Perry Common Library
|Spirit of Knowledge||Yardley Wood Library
(Birmingham unless stated)
(With links to map and aerial photo sources)
|Brookvale Pub, sign with putto and grapes||Erdington||c. 1934||Painted stone pub sign.|
|Huntsman and Dog, pub sign||The Green Man Pub, High Street, Harborne||c. 1940||Painted wooden pub sign.|
|Library Emblem||Yardley Library, Yardley||1938|
|Apollo fountain||Coronation Gardens, Ednam Road, Dudley||1939||Sculpture on top of fountain The model was international gymnast and basketball player Fred Starkey. The plaster models are in the collection of Birmingham Museums Trust.|
|Josiah Mason||Now at the junction of Chester Road & Orphanage Road in Erdington||1952||Bronze bust, recast from a marble statue (subsequently destroyed) by Francis John Williamson of 1885, which stood opposite Mason Science College in Edmund Street|
|Engineering, bas-relief||Mechanical Engineering Building at the University of Birmingham||1954|||
|Aesculapius||Medical School, University of Birmingham||c. 1938|||
|John Skirrow Wright||Birmingham Council House||1956||Bronze bust cast from a marble statue (subsequently destroyed) by Francis John Williamson|
|St. Alphege||St. Alphege CofE Infants School, New Road, Solihull||1959||Restored in 1994|
|Mermaid fountain||University of Birmingham Guild of Students||1960||Bronze|
|Mermaid||University of Birmingham Guild of Students||1960||Clipsham stone sculpture, on wall|
|Decoration||The Mermaid (public house), Sparkhill||c. 1960||(Bas-relief pub sign attributed to Alan Bridgewater)|
|Bust of Wilfred Byng Kenrick||Byng Kenrick Grammar School For Girls||1962(unveiled 1963)||Bronze. Lost, believed stolen.)|
|Coat of Arms||Dental Hospital||c. 1973||Fibreglass. Now removed.|
|Head of Man||Royal Birmingham Society of Artists||undated||Plaster|
|Sermon to the Birds||St Francis of Assisi's Church, Bournville||1933||Oak Wood. Part of Grade II listed building.|
|Ten panels in ceiling||Moseley School (old assembly hall)||undated||Plaster (Full image set at Media related to Moseley School assembly hall ceiling panels at Wikimedia Commons).|
|Sun and lettering||Sun Insurance Building, Bennetts Hill||1927||Stone bas-relief
Media related to Bloye sculptures on Sun Insurance Building, Bennetts Hill at Wikimedia Commons).
|Heraldic sculptures (also Bronze statue of girl in fountain in courtyard)||Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane||1964||Stone bas-relief. Statue of girl in private courtyard. Media related to Bloye sculptures at Fountain Court Building, Steelhouse Lane at Wikimedia Commons.|
|Mother and Child, Young Child Playing||90 Lancaster Street, Birmingham||c1935||Stone bas-relief|
|Maternity||Carnegie Welfare Institute, Hunter's Road, Hockley||c1923-6||Painted mahogany|
|The Good Shepherd and Latin Cross||Christ Church, Burney Lane, Ward End||c1935||Stone bas-relief|
|Christ||All Saints church, Coneyford Road, Shard End||1951–5||Stone|
|Lion Pediment and Seated Craftsmen||Supreme Works, 186 Soho Hill, Handsworth||c1922||Stone bas-relief. Media related to Supreme Works, 186 Soho Hill, Birmingham at Wikimedia Commons.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Bloye.|
- "William James Bloye ARBS". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951. University of Glasgow History of Art. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
- "Life of Birmingham sculptor William Bloye commemorated". City College. December 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- "Ornamental Fountain". National Recording Project. Public Monument and Sculpture Association. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "The mystery of the headless statue". Birmingham Newsroom. Birmingham City Council. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- Anon (1930). "The Spring Exhibition, 1930 (catalogue)". RBSA.
- Anon (1948). "Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Autumn Exhibition 1948 (catalogue)". RBSA.
- Anon (1961). "The Second Spring Exhibition, 1961 (catalogue)". RBSA.
- RBSA catalogues, 1962 onwards
- RBSA archives, catalogue number B43
- Noszlopy, George T. (1998). Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield. Public Sculpture of Britain. 2. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-682-8.
- Noszlopy, George T. (2005). Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country. Public Sculpture of Britain. 9. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-0-85323-999-4.
- Noszlopy, George T. (2003). Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. Public Sculpture of Britain. 6. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-847-2.
- Anon (2 April 2001). "Former city man tribute". Birmingham Evening Mail. – via HighBeam Research, subscription needed
- Accession numbers: 1991P111; 1991P112
- The Moseleians Association – Moseley School and the work of William Bloye (1890–1975)