William Reid Dick (1878-1961) was one of a generation of British sculptors air-brushed out of art history by the Modernist critics of the late twentieth century. This long-overdue monograph adds to the recent revival of interest in this group of forgotten sculptors, by describing the life and work of arguably the leading figure of the group in unprecedented depth. The facts of Reid Dick's life and his most important works are presented against a backdrop of the historical, social and aesthetic changes taking place during his lifetime. Dennis Wardleworth elucidates why Reid Dick's reputation plummeted so quickly, and why his position in the history of British art deserves to be restored. This study draws upon a wealth of previously unpublished material, including over 2000 letters, and press cuttings and photographs in the Tate Archive, as well as letters and photographs held by Reid Dick's family. It traces the sculptor's story from his birth in the Gorbals in Glasgow, to his election to the Royal Academy and knighting by George V, to the decline of his career and his late-life connection with American millionaire and art collector Huntington Hartford. The first monograph on Reid Dick since 1945, the book also includes images of over 40 of his works and a listing of over 200 works identified by the author.
'… an interesting account of a life of professional and social success, based on family and institutional archives.' The Art Newspaper
'What particularly impresses about the study is how it came to be written… he came across Reid Dick and simply wanted to know more. In other words, sheer curiosity and enthusiasm. Would that many other art historians could show as much delight in finding out more about a neglected body of art work, and reasoning through the how and why of an artist's life and reputation.' Cassone
Contents: Preface; One of Britain’s lost sculptors; Glasgow; London - the early years; The Great War; The 1920s - the war memorials; The 1920s - portraits; The 1920s - architectural sculpture; The 1920s - the statuettes; The 1930s - sculptor to the King; The 1930s - monuments and portraits; The late 1930s - 16 Maida Vale, Epstein and Lady Godiva; The 1940s - war and decline; The final years; William Reid Dick’s legacy; Bibliography; Archives and other sources; Appendices; Index.