WOODWARD, Benjamin (1816-1861). Irish architect.

WOODWARD, Benjamin 1816-1861. Irish architect


Autograph Letter Signed "Benjamin Woodward" to "My dear Sir" elsewhere "Tupper Esq" [John Lucas Tupper, sculptor, poet, essayist and early member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood] regarding a sculpture commission.

3 pages 8vo, 88 St James's St, May 17 1856.

"The statues which we have at our disposal are Aristotle, Leibnitz, Oersted, Linnaeus, Cuvier & (I think) Sydenham. I presume you are aware of the very limited sum which we are authorised to expend on them - viz £70. but also that they are to be executed in Caen stone.

I should be happy to see you at my pidgeon[sic] hole here at any time you choose I can give you any further information on the subject".

During the period of 1854-1860 the University Museum at Oxford was designed and executed by the Dublin based practice of Sir Thomas Newenham Deane (1828-99) and Benjamin Woodward (1815-61). John Lucas Tupper was commissioned to create a statue to reside in the main court along with other statues of great figures of science. It is this commission that is being discussed here.

Woodward was involved in designing buildings including Queen's College (now University College, Cork), the district lunatic asylum at Killarney, co. Kerry, a museum building at Trinity College, Dublin, Crown Life Office, Blackfriars, London and perhaps his most famous architectural work, the University Museum at Oxford. He never married and died in 1861 of tuberculosis while travelling in France for his health.

John Lucas Tupper contributed to the Germ and was a particular friend to Frederic George Stephens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti and William Holman Hunt, whom his son Holman was named after and who was godfather to that child. Tupper's involvement in a sculpture of one of the great men of science, Linnaeus, is not surprising as he frequently depicted scientific subjects in his art. He was an anatomical draughtsman for Guy's Hospital for a number of years until 1863, after which he held the post of drawing master at Rugby School until his death.

Blank verso is heavily soiled and marked, the rest of the letter in good condition.

Stock Code: 11384

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