Artworks by Eduardo Paolozzi, Elisabeth Frink and Henry Moore feature among the 41 ‘humanising’ post-war public sculptures listed today
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) - on the advice of Historic England - has also given heritage protection to major artworks incorporated into buildings including Barbara Hepworth’s Winged Figure on the John Lewis Store in London and William Mitchell’s Story of Wool on the former Technical Centre of the International Wool Secretariat in Ilkley.
There is also a first listing (grade II) for Anthony Gormley for his 1984 sculpture in Maygrove Peace Park, West Hampstead of a figure sat on a granite boulder.
Elsewhere, the DCMS recognised three works in Harlow, known as The Sculpture Town, including a play sculpture of a bronze donkey, ’now worn to a shine from years of use, designed so that children could interact with and experience art’.
According to Historic England, the selected artworks - most of which were listed at Grade II with some Grade II* -were designed to bring the nation’s ’public spaces back to life after the Second World War as England began to repair its shattered towns and cities’.
A spokesman said: ‘This art was created for everyone, to humanise and enrich our streets, housing estates, work places, shopping centres, expanding universities and schools.’
’The 41 newly listed pieces capture the mood of post-war public feeling, depicting a range of themes from the celebration of industry in northern England such as mining and wool, to the importance of family, play and even a commemoration to children killed by the Blitz. Some were unpopular at the time, being seen as too unsettling or too avant-garde and only now are they starting to get the appreciation they deserve.
He added: ’These sculptures form part of our irreplaceable national collection of public art now being recognised and protected by Historic England.’
Historic England recently warned that some public art has been destroyed, sold, lost or stolen and is exploring their fate and stories in Historic England’s upcoming exhibition at Somerset House, Out There: Our Post-War Public Art from 3 February to 10 April 2016.
For more details about all today’s listings click here.
Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England
’These sculptures were commissioned and created for everybody and have become a precious national collection of art which we can all share. They enrich our lives, bring art to everyone and deserve celebration. We have worked with the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, Tate, and the Twentieth Century Society throughout this project to ensure our most special public art is protected and continues to enhance our public spaces.’
41 post-war public sculptures listed