Valuing Sculpture: Contemporary Perspectives on Art, Craft and Industry, 1660-1860

  • Online event
  • 27–28 July 2021
  • Two-day conference with keynote speakers Dr Greg Sullivan and Dr Rebecca Wade. Part of our Fabrication Research Season.

Keynote Speakers: Dr Greg Sullivan (University of York/ St Paul’s Cathedral) and Dr Rebecca Wade (independent).

The indeterminate position of sculpture within the arts is a malleable concept which continues to challenge researchers. Categorisations such as art, craft, or industry contrive barriers, separating works from one another and disavowing the cross-fertilisations between sculptors, makers and artisans involved in the formal practices and aesthetics of art production.

This conference, part of the Henry Moore Institute’s 2021 Fabrication Research Season, will refocus attention on how links have been consistently made between media and making processes to categorise and subsequently value sculpture. The conference is organised by Sammi Scott and Charlotte Davis (University of York), Caitlin Scott (University of Sheffield), and Hannah Kaspar (University of Leeds) in collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute.

This conference was recorded and is available to watch on request, please email us at if you are interested.


Day 1: Tuesday 27 July 2021, 1–6pm

1pmWelcome and opening remarks from conference organisers
1:15 - 2:45pmPanel 1: Sculptural Reproduction
Chair: Dr Maddie Boden (University of York/ Ashmolean Museum)
 ‘The True Way of Copying the Antique’: Skeuomorphs in Late-Georgian Architectural Sculpture
Jake Bransgrove (Independent)
 ‘Peculiarly Fit for Statues’: The Contribution of Fired Artificial Stone to Sculpture
in the Eighteenth Century
Caroline Stanford (Kellogg College, University of Oxford)
 ‘Wider than the Realm of England’: The Hosack Family Heritage, British Slavery
and Casting Mary, Queen of Scots as a Monument for the Nation
Liberty Paterson (Birkbeck, University of London/ National Portrait Gallery)
2:45 - 3:15pmBreak
3:15 - 4:45pmPanel 2: Collecting Sculpture
Chair: Izabella Gill-Brown (University of York)
 ‘He even wanted Objects of Architecture and Ornament to be part of that Collection’:
The Fragment and the Sister Arts in the Vatican’s Museo Chiaramonti
Koenraad Vos (King’s College, University of Cambridge)
 Casting Value: The Wider Impact of Plaster Cast Examples in Art Education 1837-1853
Toni Rutherford (V&A/ Royal College of Art)
 The Value of Classical Sculpture to Industrial Birmingham
Clare Matthews (University of Birmingham)
4:45 - 5pmBreak
5 - 6pm Keynote Lecture 
 Plaster—Marble—Metal—Marble: The Many Material Lives of The Young Naturalist
by Henry Weekes
Dr Rebecca Wade (Independent)

Day 2: Wednesday 28 July 2021, 1-6pm 

1pmOpening remarks from conference organisers
1:15 - 2:45pmPanel 3: Sculpture and Decoration 
Chair: Kim Newell (University of York)
 The Art of Stucco in Southern Portugal: Main Morphologies and Functions
Dr Patrícia Monteiro (Universidade de Lisboa)
 The Rape of Europa back in place. What´s new?
Ana Lúcia Pinto & Dr Sandra Tapadas (Centro de Investigação e de Estudos
em Belas-Artes, Faculdade de Belas-Artes, Universidade de Lisboa)
 Valuing Ornament Jean-Baptiste Plantar (1790-1879) – In between Art, Craft and Industry
Justine Gain (École Pratique des Hautes Études/ École du Louvre)
2:45 - 3:15pmBreak
3:15 - 4:45pmPanel 4: Sculptural Hierarchies and Classification
Chair: Dr Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth (Victoria and Albert Museum)
 Valuing Clodion (1738-1814): Art and Nature in Eighteenth-Century France
Ashley Hannebrink (Harvard University)
 Replicating Prestige: Antoine Benoist’s Wax Courtiers
David Mitchell (McGill University)
 Nicolas de Launay, Sculp.: Artistic Hierarchy and the Multidisciplinary Art of Engravers
in Eighteenth Century France
Tamara Abramovitch (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) 
4:45 - 5pmBreak
5 - 6pm Keynote Lecture 
 ‘Intrinsick Value’ in Performance and Materials: Assessing Sculptural Value in Long Eighteenth-Century Britain
Dr Greg Sullivan (University of York/ St Paul’s Cathedral)
6 - 6:15pmClosing remarks


Paper abstracts and speakers' bios

Download paper abstracts and speakers' bios (PDF, 3mb)


Panel 1: Sculptural Reproduction


Panel 2: Collecting Sculpture


Panel 3: Sculpture and Decoration


Panel 4: Sculptural Hierarchies and Classification


Keynote Lectures


Panel Chair Biographies



Fabrication Research Season

The practicalities of how an artist approaches making a sculpture have often been shrouded in mystery. The relationship between artists and skilled fabricators is rarely acknowledged. Exploring the blurred lines between art, craft and industry, this Research Season will make visible the ways in which sculptors in both historical and contemporary contexts have realised their vision through processes of collaboration and exchange, and will examine ways in which making sculpture has changed, particularly in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic.

This Research Season is organised in collaboration with Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre and the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield.

See all Fabrication Research Season events


Logos for the Arts and Humanities Research Council; White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities, Universities of Leeds Sheffield & York.

Venue details

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