Child with a Lamb
The simplified and stylised forms and compact design show the influence of Walker's teacher at the School of Art, William Bloye.
Commissioned as a result of a sculpture competition organised by Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts in 1932, it was funded by Richard Wheatley, a Handsworth patron of the arts and and ex-student of the College. The brief was for a decorative feature suitable for a park and the competition was open to past and present students.(1) Walker, a student between 1925 and at least 1936, won the first prize of £30 for his model in February 1933 (2) and was awarded a further £250 to carry out his design in bronze. The figure was cast and patinated by the bronze statue founder A.B. Burton of Surrey by September 1936,(3) and the plinth designed with assistance by December. Gratefully accepted by the City the statue was erected in Handsworth Park and officially unveiled by the Lord Mayor. The local press recorded that Wheatley 'had been struck by the fact that all the pieces of sculpture in public places seemed either to be memorials to great citizens or to record some great event. None seemed created out of an artistic appreciation. He hoped that by seeing things of beauty, people would be encouraged to spare a little money from the modern ways of recreation for things of art which would beautify their homes.'(4) Wheatley financed two other art competitions at the College of Art and Crafts, including a mural decoration at Dulwich Road Senior Boys School in 1936. After his death in 1938, he bequeathed £8,000 to the City towards the Birmingham Civic Centre scheme: (see the entry for Bloye's Boulton, Watt and Murdoch, Broad Street). The sculpture is no longer present and its whereabouts and fate are unknown.
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