Gertrude Hermes



Not on display

Gertrude Hermes 1901–1983
Object: 324 × 229 × 206 mm
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1981

Display caption

Hermes was a sculptor and a wood-engraver, who studied first at Beckenham School of Art and then privately with the artist Leon Underwood. She worked in a variety of materials and produced architectural sculpture for several 1930s buildings including the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Baby was carved from a large chalk pebble which Hermes found on the beach at Hastings. To begin with, two casts were made from the carving, in white china clay and in terracotta, but requiring something more durable Hermes had two further casts in bronze made from the terracotta. The original chalk carving disintegrated and no longer exists.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

T03221 BABY c. 1932

Bronze, 5 3/4 × 12 × 9 (14.2 × 30.5 × 22.9) on teak base; ht. including base 8 1/8 (20.1)
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1981
Prov: Purchased from the artist by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1974
Exh: RA, May–July 1974 (1288)
Repr: RA Illustrated, 1974, p.63

'Baby’ was carved in London from a chalk pebble found on the beach at Hastings. Two casts were made from it soon afterwards, one in white china clay (private collection, India) and the second in terracotta (owned by a member of the artist's family). Two casts in bronze were made from the terracotta by the Art Bronze Foundry, 1 St Michael Road, London SW6, the first, which belongs to the Tate, in 1973, and the second, in 1974; the latter was exhibited (no. 13) at Gertrude Hermes' retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in September–October 1981 and was bought by a private collector.

The original carved chalk pebble disintegrated and no longer exists.

This catalogue entry, approved by Gertrude Hermes, is based on a discussion between her and the compiler (November 1982) and a letter from Mrs Judy Russell, the artist's daughter, of February 1983.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984


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