British sculptor Bob Dawson dies

Bob Dawson, Bird in flight

By Alison and Susanna Dawson in Britain:

Obituary: Bob Dawson, sculptor, October 10 1921 – December 19 2012

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Our father Bob Dawson, who died last month aged 91, was a sculptor of distinction and an author of three books on sculpture techniques and carving.

Over his long and eventful life he exhibited regularly at the O’Hana and Ewan Phillips galleries in London. His works were shown at the Royal Academy, the Welsh Arts Council and the London Group and were acquired by numerous private collectors

He carried out many commissions for architects and was commissioned by the Peterborough Trust to produce a work for its sculpture trail.

He produced Bird In Flight in stainless steel which stands majestically at the start of the Fens.

For Leicestershire County Council, he produced a sculpture for the Desford Colliery which is now part of Bagworth Heath Woods and he sculpted the altar – still in use – which can be seen at Saint Matthews Church in London’s Bethnal Green.

Born in Holywell, north Wales, Dawson lived in the Midlands in market towns, farming areas and in Purbeck, Dorset, until his call-up to the army in 1940.

He served as a captain in the Indian army in Burma and India and after he was demobilised in 1946 studied drawing, painting and sculpture at Camberwell Art School and the then Kennington City and Guilds Art College, where he won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen.

After the second world war he met his Swiss wife Marthe in Swanage. She later became a skilled weaver and the couple eventually married in Portsmouth in 1949 and moved to London where they had two daughters.

In the early 1950s the couple joined the Communist Party and up until a few days before his death he was still a regular reader of the Morning Star.

During his time in education Bob taught sculpture, pottery and three-dimensional design at the London College of Printing and visual studies in the school of architecture in what is now part of Westminster University.

He specialised in materials and three-dimensional design and also taught drawing and engineering product design at South Bank Polytechnic in London.

Despite having developed Parkinson’s disease in his later years, he continued to work and took part most recently in Open Studios Northamptonshire.

He will be sorely missed by his family and friends and by those he taught.

He is survived by his daughters Alison and Susanna and his grandson Joe.

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4 thoughts on “British sculptor Bob Dawson dies

  1. Pingback: Liebster Award, thanks Morrighan! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  3. I was at the Regent St Poly Art Scool in the late 1950’s and met a Bob Dawson who lived very simply with his wife in a very small house in Highgate.It had a long rarrow beautiful garden and almost everything in the house was handmade.I bought a piece of siver metal sculpture from him of a figure lying down in abstracted form.Is this the same sculpter I wonder?


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