BRIDGEMAN, John

1916 - 2004

Arthur John Bridgeman was born at Felixstowe, Suffolk on 2 February 1916, eldest of the three children of Bernard John Bridgeman, an NCO in the military police, who had served all over the former British Empire. His mother, a Miss Dowling, spotted her son's gift at drawing, approached the famous local Suffolk artist, Alfred Munnings, for advice and was told that young John should be sent to Colchester Art School where he studied under (Herbert) Barry Hart (1894-1954) and Edward James Morss (1906-1994), and was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art 1947-1949; studying under Frank Dobson (1886-1963). In 1939, an unmarried 'art student', living at Hillside, Newton Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, the home of architect Paul Earee and his family. His first love was painting, and it was during this period that he produced many gouache paintings and pastels in a romantic style celebrating the English countryside. After working as a letter-carver for Misha Black's Design Research Unit until 1951, contributing big panels for the 'Dome of Discovery' at the 1951 Festival of Britain, when appointed head of sculpture at Carlisle College of Art. In 1956 he succeeded William Bloye (1890-1975) as Head of Sculpture at Birmingham College of Art, where he remained until retirement in 1981. A sculptor working in fibreglass, plastics, concrete, bronze and ciment fondu, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1960 and was a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and he exhibited at the Royal Academy. His commissions included 'Madonna Dolorosa' for Coventry Cathedral, a group of Warriors for Catherine's College, Cambridge. He married at Wandsworth, London in 1941, journalist Irene Dancyger (13 June 1916-9 March 1983) and they had one son and one daughter. Arthur John Bridgeman and his family lived at 27 Hyde Place, Leamington, Warwickshire where he died on 29 November 2004.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Glebe House, Ufton, Leamington Spa
1957 1398 Bather - concrete statuette
1959 1410 Seated Bather - concrete statuette
         1427 Falling Bather - concrete statuette
1975 1013 Figure - bronze
1976 1355 Seated Figure - bronze
1980 939 Seated Figure - bronze




Works by This Artist