Benedict Read (1945 – 2016)
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Benedict Read (1945-2016)

It is with great sadness that we must announce that Ben Read, who lectured on the History of Carving course since 2012, passed away on 20th October at his home in London.

Ben was a renowned expert in British Victorian and twentieth century sculpture but his scholarly and outside interests were wide-ranging, embracing 20th century Christian art, British sculpture in India, the Cyprus School of Art and Arsenal FC. He taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he was also the Deputy Witt Librarian, until 1990, after which he moved to Leeds University as a Senior Lecturer in Art History. At Leeds he was also Director of the MA Sculpture Studies programme from 1990-1997, run under the auspices of the Henry Moore Foundation. After his retirement in 2010 he became Visiting Research Fellow at the university.

His connection with Leeds ran deeper as Chair of the Leeds Art Collections Fund and a member of the Catholic Church’s Historic Churches Committee for the Diocese of Leeds. On a national level his posts included Chairperson of the editorial committee of the Sculpture Journal and President of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (retired).

At the Art School, Ben was a crucial contributor to the Historic Carving course, teaching the History of Carving to second-year students. Speaking on 19th and 20th century monumental sculpture, his measured and unassuming delivery belied the complexity and depth of scholarship communicated through his lectures. His modesty only added to the delight with which staff and students alike were able to learn from his decades of accumulated knowledge.

He will be hugely missed.

Ben’s funeral will take place on Monday 14th November 2016 at 12 noon. The service will be held at The Church of the Holy Ghost and St Stephen
44 Ashchurch Grove, London, W12 9BU. All are welcome.

Viv Lawes

For more information on Ben Read please click here.

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