The Illustrated Interview as Self-Portrait: Portraying British Women Sculptors

  • Abstract:

    This paper considers the role of the illustrated interview as a representation of British women sculptors in the first half of the twentieth century. It addresses both language and photographic imagery as mechanisms through which these artists were positioned as women undertaking a supposedly “masculine” practice. The physical aspects of the sculptor’s work were routinely contrasted with the supposed limitations of the female maker, and much emphasis was placed on their living situation and locale as the source of their creativity and the “natural” home for their art. In this way their sculpture was often couched in terms of its potential domestic role. The interviews usually appeared in mass circulation magazines and thus addressed non-specialist audiences. The role of photography in creating a viewer’s understanding of an artist and their work is of great interest and will underpin this discussion. A range of sculptors will be included, but with particular emphasis on the work and reception of Kathleen Scott (1878-1947).