Sculpture Journal

Sculptors and architects - two Scottish case studies

Sculpture Journal (2012), 21, (2), 157–168.


Around the middle of the nineteenth century, applied decoration on buildings was designed by architects and carried out by craftsmen carvers. Gradually, over the remainder of the century, more and more established sculptors were engaged. Co-operation between architects and sculptors at all stages should ensure the best results. However, evidence of tensions between the two professions can be found. The experiences of two Scottish sculptors, James Pittendrigh Macgillivray (1856-1938) and Louis Reid Deuchars (1870-1927), are examined. Both spent periods as assistants to established sculptors, but thereafter their careers diverged. For three brief weeks they worked together, although their temperaments ensured the arrangement did not survive. Deuchars mainly received commissions from architects, by whom he was paid, often in instalments whereas Macgillivray was essentially self-employed, negotiating his fee directly with the client. He had little time for the architectural profession.

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Author details

Boreham, Louise