What do I need to know about Jacob Epstein?
Epstein is best known for transforming the horrors of the First World War into a sculptural, machine aesthetic. But this interpretation of the mechanised slaughter of soldiers across Europe was not what first gave notoriety to Jacob Epstein. Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, with its modernist and monolithic design, first drew attention to the young sculptor.
Aside from Barbara Hepworth, modern sculpture during this time was dominated by men. In this Foundling Museum exhibition, however, the swaggering, masculine Epstein is revealed to have had an obsession with casting the heads of young children in the first few years of life. It’s tempting to put this fascination down to personal issues. Epstein first sculpted babies as a young man in Paris, but it was in 1918, with the birth of his first child that he became hooked.
During this time from 1914 to 1927, he lived in Bloomsbury and fathered five children by different women. His long-suffering wife Margaret endured the affairs, and even raised Epstein’s oldest and youngest illegitimate children herself (sadly she was unable to have children of her own).
At this new sculpture exhibition in London expect many bronzes and drawings of children which intimately reveal Epstein’s practice.
|What||Sir Jacob Epstein: Babies and Bloomsbury, Foundling Museum|
|Where||The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Russell Square (underground)|
30 Jan 15 – 10 May 15, Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00-17:00, Sunday: 11:00-17:00
|Website||Click here for more information|