Sculpture Journal

Bringing it all back home? Gibbons, William Coombe Sanders and mid-Victorian marine biology

Sculpture Journal (2020), 29, (3), 361–378.

Abstract

In this article, I examine in unprecedented detail little-known Victorian craftsman William Coombe Sanders’ remarkable sheepskin Frame Resembling Carved Wood with Lobster and Crab Motif, now at the V&A, but first exhibited at the International Exhibition in London in 1862. The article asks three questions: What might we learn, from Sanders’ craft, about the likely mid-Victorian reception of Gibbons’s closely related marine works? How might we better understand Sanders’ and Gibbons’s work in the context not just of Victorian craft and design, but natural history and early twenty-first-century critical animal studies and vegan theory? And what might Sanders’ Gibbons-like relief teach us about the status of animals and humans in the longer history of still life as a genre?

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Author details

Edwards, Jason