School of Art

Contact Details

School of Art
Aberystwyth University
Buarth Mawr
SY23 1NG

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622460

Fax: +44 (0)1970 622461


Display artist/maker:

Sir William Goscombe John

Born: 1860, UK, Wales, Cardiff   Died: 1952, London

Sculptor. He began his working life assisting his father, a wood carver, in the restoration of Cardiff Castle. Following this he was taken on by a carver’s workshop in London in 1882. In the evenings he took classes in sculpture at the South London School of Technical Art, under the tuition of Jules Dalou (1838-1902) and William Silver Frith (1850-1924). He was talented enough to be taken on by the Royal Academy, where he worked with the sculptors Thomas Nicholls and Charles Bell Birch (1832-1893). He won the Royal Academy Gold Medal travelling scholarship in 1887. After touring, Goscombe John settled between 1890-1891 in Paris to study. Here he married Marthe Weiss, and produced his first large statue, Morpheus, which he had sent to London to be exhibited. It was a success, and he was commissioned to design and produce many monuments, statues of famous people and naturalistic figures in the coming years. Goscombe John was made a Royal Academician in 1909, knighted in 1911 and in 1912 helped to found the National Museum of Wales.

Objects in the collections associated with this artist/maker

[Statuette of T.C. Edwards] BE9 European Bronze

Bokani, a Pigmy Chief S35 Sculpture

Isambard Owen S33 Sculpture

Isambard Owen S34 Sculpture

Sir John Williams S37 Sculpture

[Sitter unknown, male] S32 Sculpture

Thomas Charles Edwards S36 Sculpture

Thomas Edward Ellis S31 Sculpture