Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Francis Derwent Wood
(1871-1926)
Born Keswick, Cumbria, of American and Australian descent, he trained at Karlsruhe and at the NATS , London, under Lanteri and at the RA Schools, 1894.

In 1898, he was one of five sculptors chosen in competition to provide allegorical figures for the pavilions of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, executing Architecture, Music, Sculpture and Painting.

Appointed Visiting Director of Modelling at GSA , 1898-1900, he successfully re-organised the school's modelling department and became associated with the Glasgow Style architects James Salmon II and JG Gillespie , producing most of his finest work for their buildings:

Mercantile Chambers, 35-6 Bothwell Street (1897-8), the British Linen Bank, 816 Govan Road (1897-1900), and The Hatrack, 142a St Vincent Street (1900-2).

He also produced models of allegorical figures for a domed, low-level station (Caledonian Railway Company) at the junction of Hope Street and Argyle Street, Glasgow, designed by J J Burnet (1899), but this remained unbuilt (a row of shops occupied the site instead, from 1908-86).

In London, he assisted Thomas Brock on the National Queen Victoria Memorial, London (1900-11), and was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the RCA , 1918.

During World War I he served at the front as a captain in the Medical Corps, and was responsible for modelling the thin metal masks for soldiers with severe facial wounds. A rare photograph of Derwent Wood at Ypres, working on the masks is included in the website: http://groups.msn.com/CanadaWorldWarOnetheFirstContingent
/repairingmaimedfaces.msnw
.

After World War I, he executed the Liverpool Cotton Exchange War Memorial (1921) and his best-known post-war work, the Machine Gun Corps Memorial, Hyde Park Corner (1925).

A member of the Art Workers' Guild , he exhibited at RSA , 1905-25, was elected ARA , 1910 and RA , 1920.

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