The sculpture shows a representation of the family, the father protective, the mother attentive. Although there were no similar groups in Birmingham at this time, it is interesting to note a tendency to incorporate a social symbolism in public sculpture. Although in a naturalistic style, the mothers facial features in particular are represented with a bold simple classical appearance. The baby in front is very similar to Childhood, carved in 1934 for the Carnegie Welfare institute.(1)
This group statue was commissioned for the new Housing Management Department at Bush House, Broad Street, which had opened on 27 March 1958. (2) It was moved to its present site in February 1990. When the sculpture was unveiled in 1960 the nudity of the figures caused a slight upset, recorded in the local press, (3), though the work was awarded the Otto Beit medal. The original plaster mould is in store at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
The sculpture shows an idealised representation of the nuclear family, it is intended to echo the optimism of the welfare function of the department.
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