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Jacob Epstein
(1880 — 1959)

The American born artists gained critical acclaim as a sculptor of monuments and his most famous portrait sculptures. Epstein employed ‘truth to material’, giving as much respect and thought to the medium he was using as to the subject matter. His work was primitive and he favoured a modernist style. Born in New York, Epstein began his artistic training at the Art Students League where he took classes in the late 1890s. Epstein went onto take night classes studying under George Grey Bernard. He gained enough from his illustration of Hutchins Hapgood’s The Spirit of the Ghetto in 1902 that he was able to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris for 6 months. By 1905, Epstein had become an English citizen friendly with the likes of Picasso, Brancusi and Modigliani. Epstein continued to live and work in London, exhibited at the Leicester Galleries and working with the London Group, of which he was a founding member. Epstein was honoured with a retrospective at the Tate Gallery in 1953 and was later knighted in 1954. He sadly died in London in August 1959.