Catalogue entry

T03758 Mother and Daughter 1951

Plastic wood and ‘Loy’ plastic metal 12 1/2 × 15 × 5 1/4 (320 × 380 × 120)
Not inscribed
Transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum 1983
Prov: Purchased from the artist by Department of Circulation, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1953 (Circ. 2–1953)
Exh: McWilliam, Sculpture and Drawings, Robin Campbell, Paintings, Hanover Gallery, October–November 1952 (no catalogue)

McWilliam made in the early 1950s a number of such small sculptures out of plastic wood applied to a metal armature, and many of these have family subjects. It was an alternative technique at a time when he could not afford bronze, and he worked directly, and not from drawings (letter from the artist, 5 December 1984). His major work in this style on a large scale is the metal ‘Matriarch’, which was shown in 1953 at the exhibition 20th Century Form at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, and which is similar in design to the Tate Gallery sculpture.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986