Sculpture Journal

Grace made manifest: Hamo Thornycroft’s Artemis and the Healthy and Artistic Dress Union

Sculpture Journal (2014), 23, (3), 317–330.

Abstract

This article focuses on two previously unexplored areas of Hamo Thornycroft’s practice – his interest in and use of classical drapery and how this relates to his views on dress reform and experiments with designing women’s dress. In 1894 Thornycroft allowed his sculpture Artemis and her hound (1880–82) to become appropriated as an idealized image of dress reform. The depiction of the classical goddess was a model of how to dress for an active lifestyle, free from tightly laced undergarments and the conventions of Victorian femininity. This article draws on Thornycroft’s own lectures and notebooks, as well as the memoirs of his daughter Rosalind in order to show how his sculptures can be viewed in a new light if his interest in women’s dress and health is taken into account.

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Author details

Faulkner, Katie