Introduction

The following introduction to Schenck's work comes from pages 135-138 of Marion Harry Spielmann's British Sculpture and Sculptors of Today (1901).

Mr. Schenck essentially an architect's sculptor, who has devoted himself to adapting his art to the decoration of the numerous great buildings which for some years past have been springing up all over the country. That is to say, Mr. Schenck has sailed gaily on the top of the art wave that has been flowing of late, thanks mainly to the efforts of the present generation of architects. In the case of such facile designers as Mr. Schenck, it is not a matter of slow elaboration and laborious production: decorative statues and the like are required quickly and, as it were, in the bulk, and the demand has been satisHed. For example, for the Stafford Municipal Buildings, he executed eight figures in bold relief, illustrating the industries of the country. One of these, "Agriculture," executed for the Council Hall, and sent to the Royal Academy in 1896, is here reproduced. For Mr. Hare's highly interesting Oxford Municipal Buildings ten figures in bold relief for the Town Hall were required, besides other decorations and two ligures in the Assembly Rooms. The figure of "Industry," between the spring of the arches in the Town Hall, is here shown. It was exhibited in 1897 at the Royal Academy.

Left to right: Agriculture, Shakespeare, and Literature and the Visual Arts.

Then followed a commission for eight figures for a house in Harley Street, and another for about thirty ligures and other decorations for a private house in Cuzon Street. Besides these, there are the exterior decorations in terra-cotta, including four figures, for the Public Library and Baths in Shoreditch; and for a building in Leeds the two great figures which were shown in the Academy of 1901. These represent but a portion of Mr. Schenck's activity; there are other works such as the panel, "The Morn is Up Again," publicly seen in 1894.

Mr. Schenck, then, is purely a decorative sculptor, who has always to consider architectural surroundings. The work is, generally speaking, very healthy in its vigorous treatment, though somewhat heavy in character, and, in former times, "curly" in the draperies and often enough in the lines. His composition is good, and the figures fill well the spaces they have to occupy. There has frequently been a certain lack of that stillness and repose which it seems might easily be obtained by a bigger simplicity in the treatment of the draperies, of outline, and detail. Mr. Schenck is still young, and so clever that we may look to an increased sense of nervousness in his work, and a greater delicacy of feeling and refinement — if these are not held to tell against the strength of effect.

Works

Bibliography

Carnegie Central Library, BermondseyBritish Listed Buildings. Web. 27 June 2013.

Cherry, Bridget, and Nikolaus Pevsner. London 3: North West. “The Buildings of England.” New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Spielmann, Marion Harry. British Sculpture and Sculptors of Today. London: Cassell, 1901. Internet Archive. Web. 22 December 2011.


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Last modified 27 June 2013