Elisabeth Frink English, 1930-1993


Dame Elisabeth Jean Frink (14 November 1930 – 18 April 1993) was an English sculptor and printmaker. Her Times obituary noted the three essential themes in her work as "the nature of Man; the 'horseness' of horses; and the divine in human form".



1930 Born in Thurlow, Suffolk, moved with her family around the country following her army officer father’s postings.
1941-7 Evacuated to Exmouth Devon during WW2, after Saturday morning drawing lessons at the Convent of the Holy Family, Lis became a full time pupil 1947-9 Studied painting and drawing at Guildford School of Art, and taught by Trevor Tennant and Willi Soukop in the sculpture department.
1949-53 Chelsea School of Art - drawing and sculpture, taught by Bernard Meadows and Willi Soukop where she began to use plaster of Paris to develop her ideas.
1951 First exhibited with The London Group at The Burlington Galleries.
1952 Exhibited with Helen Lessore’s Beaux Arts gallery, London. ‘Bird’ from the exhibition there was cast in bronze in 1952 and purchased for Tate.
1953-61 Taught at Chelsea School of Art, London.
1953 Awarded prize in ‘International Sculpture Competition: The Unknown Political Prisoner’ for ‘Man with Bird’.
1954-62 Taught at St Martins School of Art, London.
1955 St George’s Gallery, London - First solo exhibition.
1955 Married Michel Jammet (divorced in 1963).
1956 Became a member of The London Group.
1957 Commissions for Harlow New Town and Bethnal Green, London.
1958 Joined Waddington Galleries, London.
1959 Commission for LCC (Sedgehill School, Lewisham) and a facade for Carlton Tower Hotel, London.
1960 Filmed ‘Elisabeth Frink in Chelsea’ - a documentary for Monitor, BBC.
1962 Commissioned by Sir Basil Spence & Partners to make three sculptures for the new Coventry Cathedral.
1962 Alcock & Brown commissioned for Manchester airport by Manchester City Council.
1963 Commission for Ulster Bank, Belfast.
1963 Arts Council purchased ‘Soldier’ for their collections (and also ‘Assassins’ in 1965) and the Tate Gallery ‘Harbinger Bird IV’.
1964 ‘Eagle’ was installed as J F Kennedy Memorial, Dallas Trade Center, Texas, USA.
1965-7 Royal College of Art, London - visiting instructor.
1967 After marrying Edward Pool in 1964 they moved to the south of France where Lis established a home and studio at Corbes, Languedoc-Roussillon.
1969 Awarded CBE.
1970 ‘Silver Cross’ commissioned for Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
1971 First showed at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
1971 Elected Associate of the RA.
1973 Separated from Edward Pool and returned to UK.
1974 Commissions included the De Beers Trophy for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
1974 Married Alex Csaky.
1975 ‘Paternoster’ commissioned for Paternoster Square, London.
1975 Elected to the Board of Trustees, British Museum, London (retired 1989).
1976 Moved to Woolland, Dorset where she established her studio.
1976-92 Numerous important commissions for sites in the UK and overseas and notable portrait sculpture commissions
1977 Elected Royal Academician.
1982 Awarded DBE.
1982 Awarded Doctorate by Royal College of Art, London and Honorary Doctorate of Literature by the University of Warwick and also as Honorary Doctorate by the Open University (both in 1983).
1985 Royal Academy of Arts, London - Retrospective exhibition.
1988 Awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Cambridge and Exeter and by the universities of Oxford and Keele (1989) and Manchester (1990).
1991 Bristol (Honorary Degree, D. Litt. 1991).
1992 Awarded Companion of Honour.
1993 ‘Risen Christ’ installed at the west entrance to Liverpool Cathedral in April.
1993 18 April, Elisabeth Frink died of cancer.