Home>Travel inspiration>Art + Culture>Art

New London Sculpture Celebrating Mary Wollstonecraft Draws Criticism

By Associated Press

Nov 13, 2020

share this article
flipboard
Artist Maggi Hambling said the sculpture “celebrates the spirit of Mary Wollstonecraft,” the author of the 18th-century treatise “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.”

Photo by Ioana Marinescu/Mary on the Green via AP

Artist Maggi Hambling said the sculpture “celebrates the spirit of Mary Wollstonecraft,” the author of the 18th-century treatise “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.”

The sculpture was unveiled this week on Newington Green, London, after a decade of campaigning and fundraising, but many critics took to Twitter to question why it had to feature a naked female figure.

Article continues below advertisement

share this article
flipboard

A sculpture celebrating Mary Wollstonecraft as the mother of feminism has attracted criticism even before it was unveiled. Artist Maggi Hambling said the sculpture in London celebrates the spirit of Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of the 18th-century treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. The artwork, cast in silvered bronze, features a small nude female figure emerging from a large abstract mass of female forms.

The sculpture was unveiled Tuesday, November 10, 2020, after a decade of campaigning and fundraising, but many critics took to Twitter to question why it had to feature a naked female figure. Writer Caitlin Moran, among others, asked why male intellectuals and historical figures havent been celebrated with nude statues.

Defending the sculpture, Hambling said that it wasnt meant to be a historical likeness and that the figure at the top of the artwork is open and challenging the world.

Clothes define people. . . . As shes Everywoman, Im not defining her in any particular clothes,” she said. Its not a conventional heroic or heroinic likeness of Mary Wollstonecraft. Its a sculpture about now, in her spirit.

Campaigners have worked for years to celebrate Wollstonecraft in north London, near where she lived and set up a girls boarding school. The author died aged 38 after the birth of her daughter, the writer Mary Shelley.

>> Next: A Life-Sized Reproduction of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Arrives in St. Louis

Sign up for the Daily Wander newsletter for expert travel inspiration and tips

Please enter a valid email address.

Read our privacy policy