Lynn Chadwick

(London, 1914 – Stroud, 2003)


Lynn Chadwick was born in London in 1914. He attended the Merchant Taylor's School, and after taking his School Certificate stayed on to study drawing, watercolour and oil painting. He was then sent to Vouvray to study French. From 1933 to 1939 he trained and worked as an architectural draughtsman in London.

In 1940-41 he worked as a farm labourer and then volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm, becoming a pilot and gaining a commission. After the war he returned to his work with the architect Rodney Thomas, specialising in exhibition design.

Chadwick's first one-man exhibition was held at the Gimpel Fils Gallery, London, in 1950, the first of many exhibitions world-wide. These have included the XXVIII Venice Biennale of 1956 where he won the International Sculpture Prize. After just six years as a sculptor, Chadwick won beating the established favourite, Alberto Giacometti. At 42 he was the youngest sculptor ever to receive the honour.

This was the first of many awards and accolades, including the CBE in 1964. Early in his career he worked occasionally to commission, but less as he became established

In 1958 Chadwick bought Lypiatt Park, a sprawling manor house outside Stroud, where he would live for the rest of his life. During the 1960s Chadwick continued to receive high-profile commissions and was awarded a CBE in 1964. In 1971 Chadwick established a foundry at Lypiatt Park and began to install his own bronze works in the gardens of his home, forming the beginnings of his own sculpture park.

In later years, Chadwick’s work became less well-known in his home country, although he remained well-established abroad. The new millennium heralded a reassessment of his work; in 2001, Chadwick was elected a Senior Royal Academician and two years later, Tate Britain staged the first major retrospective of his work. Sadly, Chadwick passed away five months before it opened.

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