1928 - 2016

Edward Atkinson was born at 15 Cedar Grove, Toxteth Park, Lancashire in 1928, son of Edward Atkinson (1884-), a former cash register fitter, who was unable to work owing to war disability, and his wife Annie née McCaffley (1888-1985) who married at St Bede's Toxteth Park, Liverpool in 1914. In 1939, Ted as he was known, was a scholarship boy at Oulton High School of Liverpool Collegiate School and in 1944 enrolled on the Fine Art Course at the Liverpool School of Art where he studied sculpture under Karel Vogel (1897-1961) and made life-long friendships with Roy Cross (born 1924) and Ronald 'Josh' Kirby (1928-2001) who eventually, like Ted, moved to East Anglia. In 1947 Ted was called for National Service in the Army after which he returned to his course at the Liverpool School of Art and in 1951 proceeded to study Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in London alongside Reg Butler (1913-1981) and Henry Moore (1898-1986). He then began teaching, firstly in the sculpture at Exeter College of Art then in 1967 at Leeds College of Art and finally in 1973 Coventry College of Art. He left teaching to work as a full-time sculptor, spending half of the year in his purpose-built studio at Wivenhoe in Essex and the rest of his time in a studio near Sefton Park, Liverpool commuting between and Essex and Liverpool spending most of his non-teaching time in Wivenhoe but after the deaths of his mother in 1985 and his sister in 2005 his links with Liverpool declined. The main body of his work was directed towards architectural commissions with major public sculptures sited in Britain, Germany, Holland, the USA, and Japan. In 1988 with Armitage, Caro, Chadwick, Frink and Henry Moore he was one of six sculptors invited to represent Britain at Expo ’88 in Brisbane. The physical demands of sculpture led him to study printmaking at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, where he explored the mezzotint process. Together with Roy and Jack Cross and others, he helped establish the Wivenhoe Arts Club and with Pam Dan, was one of the last two surviving members which thrived in the seventies and eighties. The Royal Academy regularly hung his works despite their size and representative works can be found in several public collections including the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the Stadt-Wetzlar Museum, Germany. Throughout his later life, Ted was troubled by a heart condition, but continued to work and innovate during this period, becoming bolder with his images and developing his skills as a ‘digital archivist’. Edward Atkinson died on 12 February 2016.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 4 De Vere Place, Wivenhoe, Essex
1978 885 Endgame – fibreglass 5
         886 Emblem – fibreglass 5
1980 942 Three minutes before the Pageant - fibreglass
1981 918 Drawing 3 for The Sculpture - ink and watercolour
         921 Whisper through the Pantheon - fibreglass
1984 1504 Untitled 1984 - fibreglass
1985 1336 Philae - spray painted fibreglass
1987 1122 Endgame 3 – polyester resin
1988 1161 Analogue – etching & aquatint
         1164 Still Life I – etching & aquatint
         1224 The Garden at Midnight - etching & aquatint
1991 193 Brancusi’s Studio – etching & aquatint
1992 632 Kabuki I – etching
         633 Kabuki II – etching
1994 232 Correlation – etching & aquatint
1997 178 Night Geometry I – etching
1998 158 The Hieroglyphs Revealed – etching & aquatint.

Works by This Artist