Toft, Albert (1862-1949) by Scholes, Robert

Albert Toft (1862 – 1949) He was born near Birmingham, where his father was principal modeller at Elkington, later moving the family to Staffordshire to work for Wedgwood. Young Albert Toft also went to work for Wedgwood, studying at the art school in Henley in the evenings, and then at Newcastle under Lyme. In 1881 he commenced study in London at the National Art Training School, under Lanteri. He set himself up with a London studio, producing first bas-reliefs and apparently doing some black and white work, and then turning to portrait sculpture. From the late 1880s he also made ideal works. These included a series of ideal nudes with titles like Lilith, Fate Lead, and Hagar, well into the 20th Century. A Bather was bought for the Tate under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest in 1915. A sculptor of war memorials and public monuments, he executed the Boer War Memorials at Ipswich (1905) and Birmingham (1906), and the statues of Robert Owen, New Lanark (1900), and Queen Victoria at Nottingham (1906).

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