James Woodford (1893 - 1976)

Dawn Chorus, 1946-7

SKU: 7581
Original plaster maquette, with a dark green finish. Signed and dated 1946-7 and (titled on a label)

Height – 43cm
Width – 40.5cm


Private collection
Exhibited Royal Academy, 1948, (1386), as Bird Group- Dawn Chorus, 1946-7, part of a Memorial to Esmond Carrick Simpson;  City of Bradford Art Gallery, 1955 (744); WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 121. 
WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 121, page 162.
More than twenty artists were commissioned by the WAAC to produce sculptures including Epstein, C.W.Dyson-Smith and Skeaping.


During World War II Woodford was camouflage officer to the Air Ministry. After the war he was responsible for a number of memorials including the outstanding  War Memorial in the Court of Honour of the British Medical Association, (Tavistock Square, London, 1951).
Esmond Carrick Simpson was born in 1887 and died in 1942.  There is no record of him having served in either WW1 or WW2 –  given the dominant Dove motif in this memorial it is possible that Simpson was a Conscientious Objector.  The Doves might equally refer to the restoration of peace at the point that this memorial was conceived (1946). The detail of the thrushes eating worms adds an unsettling note suggesting that Woodford intended perhaps a deeper hidden allegorical meaning within the composition.




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James Woodford
1893 - 1976

Sculptor in range of materials, born in Nottingham, where he studied at the School of Art. After service with 2ith Sherwood Foresters on the continent in World War I, where he was mentioned in dispatches, Woodford attended Royal College of Art. During World War II Woodford was camouflage officer to the Air Ministry. He was elected RA in 2945 and was a fellow of RBS. Woodford was a prolific producer of figurative sculpture. Among his notable works were bronze doors at the RIBA; main doors at Norwich City Hall; stone figures and panels, Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery; statue of Robin Hood in Nottingham; sculpture for Imperial War Graves Commission British cemeteries in Italy; new design of Royal Coat of Arms, 1962; and many coats of arms for government buildings in Britain and abroad. His best known work – The Queen’s Beasts – was a set of ten heraldic statues depicting the genealogy of Queen Elizabeth II commissioned for the 1953 Coronation. The originals, which were 6 ft high, cast in plaster, were gifted to the government of Canada, but Portland Stone replicas were commissioned in 1958 and these are permanently on display .outside the Palm House at Kew Gardens. Woodford’s output is widely illustrated: in the volume RBS: Modern British Sculpture, published 1939; in Arthur T Broadbent’s Sculpture Today in Great Britain 1940-1943, published 1949; and he was included in Sculpture In Britain Between The Wars, Fine Art Society, 1986. Lived in Twickenham, Middlesex.


James Woodford (1893 - 1976)
Dawn Chorus, 1946-7
James Woodford (1893 - 1976)
Woman carrying baskets and pot plants, accompanied by a dog and a pram, circa 1925
James Woodford (1893 - 1976)
Polmark Primrose, 1961
James Woodford (1893 - 1976)
Pelican, 1951
James Woodford (1893 - 1976)
The Blue Towel, 1920’s /1950’s