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Title: Craftsman and Client: the official commissions of Edward Carter Preston
Author: Bampton, Maureen Ann
ISNI:       0000 0001 3442 0888
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2007
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Craftsman and Client: the official commissions of Edward Carter Preston. Edward Carter Preston (1884-1965) of Liverpool is known as a distinguished provincial sculptor and medallist, although his artistic talents went beyond these fields to include painting, toy making, and glassware. Whilst attempting to do justice to his life and its many artistic activities, the primary objective of this thesis is to research his official commissions. Carter Preston first achieved prominence as a medallist during the Great War of 1914-18 with his national competition-winning design for the Next-of-Kin Plaque that was to be presented to the families of those killed in action or who died on active service. This was followed by the commission for the design of the four crosses and gallantry medals for the RAF when this new service was founded in 1918. Subsequent commissions and competition wins extended his productive career as a medallist between the wars and through World War II. It finished with the design of the reverse of the Commonwealth Korea Campaign medal (1950-53). As official state awards and products of the Royal Mint, these projects generated substantial files in the National Archive, which allow us to explore in depth the complex interrelationships between artist and the commissioning authorities, as well as the contributions of others involved in the design (notably George Hill, curator of medals in the British Museum, who was employed as a consultant, and King George V who interested himself and intervened personally in the design of medals and decorations). Carter Preston's second major project was the commiSSion for the sculptural decoration 9.f Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, which dominated the middle years of his career. Because of the excellent files from the Diocesan archive and the Radcliffe Papers (now in the Liverpool Record Office) and the Giles Gilbert Scott Archive (Royal Institute Of British Architects Architectural Library) it is possible to explore the triangular relationship between the artist, the architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, and the chairman to the diocese, Sir Frederick Morton Radcliffe, who not only represented the client but also expressed strong views on the iconography of religious art. Although not unique, it is unusual to find a twentieth-century artistic project which is as well documented as this one, and which allows us to follow the genesis and evolution of the sculpture to this level of detail. The archival sources are supplemented by the family papers of Carter Preston, and the opportunity for personal correspondence and discussion with surviving family members including his daughter & son in law, Julia & Michael Pugh Thomas, who very kindly let me explore their collections. . Discussion of the medals and the cathedral SCUlpture forms of the core of the thesis, and is almost entirely based on primary material. The thesis places this activity within a broader framework of the artist's upbringing, training and early years in what was one of the livelier British artistic communities. Liverpool's Late-Nineteenthand Twentieth-Century artistic milieu has been the subject of numerous memoirs as well as recent published studies, which have been employed to provide a context for Edward Carter Preston's social and artistic formation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available