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Title: Workshop practices and the making of sculpture : authorship and collaboration in the work of Eric Gill, 1909 to 1940
Author: Cribb, Ruth
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2013
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Workshop practices and the making of sculpture: authorship and collaboration in the work of Eric Gill, 1909 to 1940. This thesis examines the making of sculpture and the identity of Eric Gill in the first half of the twentieth century. A period of complex practical and theoretical innovation in Britain, histories have tended to be simplified, focussing on the idea of direct carving as an autonomous and isolated process. Gill was a key figure in this period and his persona as an isolated craftsman and art-world exile has precluded balanced accounts of the collaborative nature of his work. The study maps the complexities of sculptural practice lying behind the ideologies of modernist production, interrogating ideas of sole authorship that have developed around the notion of direct carving. It advances understanding of Gill’s workshop practice and his collaborative work with his patrons, assistants and the art market. Extensive archival research has enabled a detailed mapping of Gill’s workshop practices and professional relationships to create a study which explores all aspects of the collaborative nature of making sculpture. The thesis covers the following research questions: how has authorship been presented in discussions about early twentieth century sculpture and has this changed since Gill’s death; in light of this how has Gill's work and workshop been presented during his lifetime and since? How did Gill position himself as an artist-craftsman within the workshop and beyond? Finally, how do these presentations relate to the realities of producing sculptures at this time (workshops, patrons, the art market) and what can a detailed study of these realities tell us about the making and presentation of the artist as author? In mapping the making of sculpture in this period the study presents a new appreciation of the complexities and collaborations that were, and are, a reality for many sculptors. The study provides an alternative perspective on the nature of authorship, creative and practical collaboration, and a new understanding of public perceptions of sculptors at the time. Finally, this thesis places the work, and workshop, of Eric Gill in the context of the critical reception he received and presents a broader appreciation of his collaborative processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W000 Creative Arts and Design