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Charles Wheeler
(1892 — 1974)

Charles Wheeler was a British sculptor. Born in Codsall, Staffordshire in 1892, Wheeler was raised in Wolverhampton. His artistic education began in 1908 upon enrolling at the Wolverhampton School of Art, where Wheeler was first instructed in the art of sculpture. After being awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1912, Wheeler moved to London where he studied under and among some of the most popular proponents of the New Sculpture movement. The artist himself proved to be an accomplished figure of the movement. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1914, the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with the RA. In 1934 the artist became an Associate of the Royal Academy, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors just a year later in 1935. He was awarded membership of the RA just a few years later in 1940. Wheeler was best known for his work with portraits and architectural sculpture.


His work can be seen today adorning the buildings and grounds of many public buildings throughout Britain. Most notably, Wheeler created designs which can be seen in the architecture of the Bank of England, the Ministry of Defence and in the fountains of Trafalgar Square in London. Among other accolades, Wheeler was the President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors between the years of 1944 to 1949. He was a founding member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors, of which he became the first President in 1953, and later became the first sculptor to hold the Presidency of the Royal Academy between the years of 1956 to 1966. Though famed for his stylised sculptural works, Wheeler was also a painter proficient in oils and watercolours. The artist produced several striking landscapes and portraits and often exhibited in his capacity as a traditional painter; he was a member of both the Royal Society of Watercolour Painters and of Portrait Painters. Wheeler was honoured with a knighthood in 1958. The artist died in 1974. His work can be seen today in numerous public collections, including the Tate and the Royal Academy of Arts.