Thomas Stirling Lee

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Thomas Stirling Lee
Born(1857-03-16)16 March 1857
Died29 June 1916(1916-06-29) (aged 59)
Nationality English
Known for Sculpture

Thomas Stirling Lee (London, 16 March 1857 – 29 June 1916, London) was an English sculptor, specialising in reliefs and portrait heads. [1]


Early life

Lee was born in Lambeth, London on 16 March 1857, the son of John Swanwick Lee, a surveyor. [2] He was educated at Westminster School and then served as an apprentice in the studio of John Birnie Philip. [2] [3]

Lee studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1876 to 1880, where he won both a Gold Medal and a Travelling Scholarship. [1] In 1880–1881 he studied under Pierre-Jules Cavelier at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and then studied in Rome until 1883. [1]


Lee's commission for 28 panels for the exterior of St George's Hall, Liverpool, resulting from an open competition held by Liverpool City Council in 1882, [2] is regarded as his most important, [2] but it was the subject of controversy, [2] when the first two featured naked girls, [2] depicting "the child Justice" and "the girl Justice". [3] Lee only completed six of the 28 panels, but was subsequently commissioned to make two, and oversee all, of a further set of six on the theme of 'National Prosperity'. [2]

He was a member of the National Portrait Society from 1910 to 1915, [1] building a studio in Chelsea, London. [4] He was a member and twice chairman of the Chelsea Arts Club [2] [5] and a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers. [6] Stirling was an active member of the Art Workers' Guild and was elected Master in 1898. [5]

Lee died at St George's Hospital, Knightsbridge, London [2] on 29 June 1916. [7] His friends subscribed to a fund for a bronze panel on the family vault at New Southgate. [2]


Statue of Charles Gore Charles Gore, First Bishop of Birmingham - - 1591651.jpg
Statue of Charles Gore

Lee's work includes:

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Thomas Stirling Lee". Tate. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Thomas Stirling Lee". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951. Glasgow University . Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Thomas Stirling Lee". The Victorian Web. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  4. "Settlement and building: Artists and Chelsea Pages 102-106 A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 12, Chelsea". British History Online. Victoria County History, 2004. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
  5. 1 2 "Thomas Stirling Lee". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951, University of Glasgow. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  6. "The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951. Glasgow University . Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  7. Waters, Grant M. (1974). Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900–1950. Eastbourne: Eastbourne Fine Art.
  8. Noszlopy, George T. (1998). Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield . Public Sculpture of Britain. Vol. 2. Liverpool University Press. ISBN   0-85323-682-8.