Albert Toft

Albert Toft bigraphy, stories - Sculptor

Albert Toft : biography

1862 – 1949

Albert Toft (3 June 1862, Handsworth, Birmingham, the son of Charles Toft (1832–1909) and Rosanna Reeves – 18 December 1949 Worthing, Sussex) was an English sculptor. His brother was the landscape artist Joseph Alfonso Toft.

Toft trained in Wedgwood’s pottery and in 1881 won a scholarship to study sculpture at the South Kensington Schools under Professor Edouard Lanteri.. Sourced 1 September 2007 He received silver medals in his second and third years. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes Toft as one of the major figures of "New Sculpture" following on from William Hamo Thornycroft and George Frampton. Toft described his work as ‘Idealist’ but he also said of himself that "to become an idealist you must necessarily first be a realist."

From 1885 onwards Toft exhibited at the Royal Academy and some of his most notable works exhibited at the Royal Academy included ‘Fate-Led’ (1890), ‘The Sere and Yellow Leaf’ (1892), ‘Spring’ (1897), ‘The Spirit of Contemplation’ (1901) and ‘The Metal Pourer’ (1915). In 1915 his sculpture ‘The Bather’ was purchased using the Royal Academy’s Chantrey Fund. In 1900 Toft received a bronze medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

In 1891 Toft was elected to the Art Workers Guild and in 1938 he was elected a fellow to the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

Other works

Name Location Comments
Bust of Philip James Bailey Nottingham Nottinghamshire Toft created this bronze bust and panel which stands on a pedestal within the grounds of Nottingham Castle. English Hertitage. Retrieved 13 November 2012
Memorial to Mr.Jonathan White Nottingham Nottinghamshire This bust was sculpted by Toft in 1891 and also stands in the Nottingham Castle grounds.
The Bather Victoria and Albert Museum London This 1915 work is held in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London to whom it was lent by the Tate Gallery. Victorian Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012
Study of the actress Ellaline Terriss Held in a private collection This bronze by Toft dates to 1901. Victorian Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012
The Spirit of Contemplation Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne This work dates to 1906. See photograph in gallery below. Victorian Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012
Children of the Sculptor Held in a private collection This study by Toft of three of his children was executed in 1904. Victorian Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012
Frank Brangwyn Cardiff Glamorgan This study by Toft is held in the Amgueddfa Cymru Caerdydd [National Museum of Wales, Cardiff] Accession number: NMW A 2988. Victorian Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012
Maternity Held in a private collection This is one of Toft’s works said to show the influence of the Lantéri-Dalou tradition Victorian Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012
The King Edward VII Memorial Birmingham This statue by Toft is located in Highgate Park, Birmingham, England. It was made of Carrara marble and unveiled in 1913. The Victorian Society. Retrieved 13 November 2012
Statue of Queen Victoria Nottingham Nottinghamshire This statue dates to 1905. British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 13 November 2012 Toft also created sculptures of Queen Victoria for Leamington Spa and South Shields.
Fate-led Liverpool Merseyside This work by Toft is held at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Victorian Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012
Statue of Henry Richard Tregaron This statue by Toft was unveiled on 18 August 1893. It is located in Tregaron Square, Tregaron.
Memorial to Charles Swinnerton Heap Walsall This panel by Toft was unveiled in 1901. It was moved to Walsall Town Hall in 1905.