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Displaying Victorian Sculpture

Displaying Victorian Sculpture was a project focused on the display of sculpture in 19th century Britain and its colonies, in museums and galleries, public spaces inside and outside and in homes from royal palaces to suburban villas. The three-year project was conducted in collaboration with the University of York, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  

The project led to a major international exhibition of Victorian Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art in America in Autumn 2014, as well as moving to the Tate Britain in Spring 2015. The show was curated by Martina Droth (Head of Research, YCBA), Jason Edwards (University of York) and Michael Hatt (University of Warwick).  

While Victorian Studies has undergone a remarkable growth in the past two decades, with exhaustive research into many aspects of 19th-century British culture, scholars have almost entirely overlooked Victorian sculpture. Working with the participation of three regional collections: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow; National Museums, Liverpool; and National Museum, Cardiff. The project has been able to survey the making, and viewing of sculpture in Britain and its empire during the reign of Queen Victoria, revealing not only the inventiveness and ubiquity of sculpture, but also its profound cultural and political significance. 

A book made for the exhibition Sculpture Victorious has published some of the findings of the project into the public realm. The project also funded two PhD theses; three annual workshops, in Glasgow, Liverpool and Cardiff respectively; and an edited collection of primary sources on Victorian sculpture. 

The Project Team

Visit the project website for more information.