Papers relating to the sculpture of Laurence Bradshaw

Scope and Content

A large part of the archive records Bradshaw's best known work, the 'Karl Marx Memorial', Highgate Cemetery, London, 1956, by means of press cuttings, sketches for the plinth, the contract, correspondence, printed material and unpublished comments on the sculpture by Bradshaw. There are c.100 photographs documenting his portrait sculptures, architectural sculptures, drawings, his studio at Warwick Road, London, and photographs of the artist, c.1925-1990. There are thirty-one drawings, mostly for architectural work, c.1935-1960; three press cutting albums, 1917-1983 and loose cuttings, 1935-1991; published writings on Gertrude Hermes and Leon Underwood; and a letter giving Bradshaw's opinion about the decay of Jacob Epstein's sculptures on Rhodesia House, the former British Medical Association building, 1976. Additional material comprises correspondence, accounts, sketches and other papers relating to various commissions for architectural sculpture and portrait busts, 1935-1974.

Administrative / Biographical History

Laurence Henderson Bradshaw was born in April 1899 at Wallasey. He was a sculptor, engraver and painter. Bradshaw was involved with the British Soviet Friendship Society, the Royal Society of British Sculptors, and was elected Master of the Art Workers Guild, 1958. He was the official war artist for the Norwegian government in World War Two and was rewarded for his contribution to the arts with a civil list pension from the British government.His most famous work, however, was the memorial to Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery (1956). This reflected his political beliefs. Bradshaw was a committed communist and worked actively in politics throughout his career.He also made many portrait busts and carried out public commissions, particularly in conjunction with architects. His designs for theatre scenery are housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Access Information

Available to all registered researchers. The Archive is open by appointment only

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is available for consultation in the HMI archive searchroom

Archivist's Note

Archive Hub description was created by Janette Martin

Biographical information extracted from 'Laurence Henderson Bradshaw', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [, accessed 19 Nov 2015]

Related Material

Maquette for the Bronze Head for the Karl Marx Memorial", 1954-55 is in the Leeds City Art Gallery collection.