Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Evelyn Beale
(1870-1944)
One of a number of female sculptors who emerged in the Edwardian era to challenge the hitherto male dominated production of fine-art, architectural and commemorative sculpture in Scotland, and who came to prominence in the period 1918-39.

She produced a number of small-scale pieces with titles and subjects such as Gathering Flowers (1918), John, son of Dr J Ferguson Smith (1928), Queen Margaret of Scotland (1934) and a porcelain statuette of A Glasgow Worker (1934). These, together with a number of works in plaster, porcelain, terracotta and bronze, were exhibited at the RGIFA and RSA between 1904-38.

Her architectural and commemorative work, however, is rare. It includes Remember the Brave, a memorial for a junior school (1918, RGIFA cat. 68), Hospitality, a relief panel for a porch (1919, RGIFA cat. 29) and The Elf, a relief for a garden wall (1929, RGIFA cat. 71).

Like her female counterparts (e.g., Phyllis Bone and Alice Meredith Williams), she gained prominence after World War I, when the role of women in the services and at home during the war was officially recognised and reflected in the choice of women sculptors and architects to execute a number of important war memorials to the dead of both sexes.

In Glasgow, Beale is represented by the Lansdowne Church War Memorial, a tryptich in coloured and gilded relief representing the ‘Saviour with outstretched arms welcoming figures from different branches of the war service,’ which she exhibited at the RGIFA in 1923 (cat. 487).

She occupied a number of addresses in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and spent some time living as far afield as the Isle of Bute and North Shields.

Her Glasgow addresses include studios at 79 West Regent Street and 14a Woodside Place Lane, which she shared with the sculptor Alexander Proudfoot , 1922-7, and a ‘care of’ address at 23 Wilson Street, in the name of Meliss, while she spent time at the Parsonage, Isle of Bute, in 1910.

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