Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Sir George James Frampton
(1860-1928)
Born in London, the son of a stone carver, he initially trained as an architect before studying sculpture at Lambeth School of Art under W S Frith, and at the RA Schools, where he won a Gold Medal and a Travelling Scholarship to Paris and the studio of Antonin Mercie, 1887.

A central figure in the New Sculpture movement, he produced ideal work and busts in marble and bronze, and received many commissions for architectural and public sculpture throughout the United Kingdom.

These include the terracotta decoration on the Constitutional Club, London (1883-6); the Sailing ship and Steamship bronzes, Lloyds Registry, London (1902); the lions at Edward VII Galleries, British Museum, for J J Burnet 's London practice (1909); sculpture on the VA façade (1899-1908) and figures on St. Mary's Church, Oxford (1908).

For Glasgow, he devised and modelled the sculpture schemes for the Glasgow Savings Bank, 177 Ingram Street (1894-99) and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (1898-1900).

At Kelvingrove his models were translated into stone by the Glasgow-based architectural carvers James C Young , William Vickers , J M Sherriff and William Shirreffs , who accompanied Frampton to Paris for inspiration prior to starting their work at Kelvingrove.

He also assessed the competition for the museum's pavilion figures, 1898, and personally produced the bronze St. Mungo group at the building's north entrance, and the figurative reliefs above it.

In 1914, he was the assessor of the competition for the bronze groups on the Kelvin Way Bridge, selecting P R Montford as their sculptor, and collaborated with Charles Rennie Mackintosh on the marble and wood Sir James Fleming Memorial Plaque for the staircase in Glasgow School of Art.

His public work includes statues of William Rathbone, Liverpool (1899); Queen Victoria, Leeds and Newcastle (1901); and the memorials to W S Gilbert and Sir Walter Besant, Victoria Embankment, London (1912-15).

Frampton's most popular work is Peter Pan in London's Kensington Gardens (1912).

After World War I, he executed the Pearl Insurance War Memorial, High Holborn, London (c.1918) and the Edith Cavell Memorial, St. Martin's Place, London (1920).

He exhibited at RA from 1884, was elected ARA , 1894, RA , 1902, and served as PRBS , 1911-12.

Frampton was knighted in 1908, and died on 21st May 1928. His memorial in St. Paul's Cathedral was produced by Ernest Gillick , the sculptor of the Cenotaph in Glasgow's George Square.

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Works in our Database:
1: Ingram Street (Merchant City),
Trustee Savings Bank, 177 Ingram Street
St Mungo, Atlantes, Allegorical Figures and Related Decorative Carving (1894-9)
Modeller: GJ Frampton); Carver: W Shirreffs; Architects: Burnet, Son & Campbell;
Ironwork manufacturers: Longden & Co; George Adam & Son
2: Kelvingrove Park (West End),
Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum - North Elevation - Central Porch
St Mungo as the Patron of Art and Music (1892-1902)
Sculptor: GJ Frampton; Architects: JW Simpson & EJ Milner Allen
3: Kelvingrove Park (West End),
Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum - North Elevation - Central Porch. In the spandrels of the north, east and west arches of the entrance porch.
Reliefs Representing Music, Literature and Manufacturing Arts (1892-1902)
Modeller: GJ Frampton; Carver: W Shirreffs; Architects: JW Simpson & EJ Milner Allen
4: Kelvingrove Park (West End),
Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum - North Elevation - Central Porch. Above attic windows on the entrance porch
Masks of 'The Great Trio of Greek Art' (1892-1902)
Modeller: GJ Frampton; Carver: W Shirreffs; Architects: JW Simpson & EJ Milner Allen
 
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