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James Butler MBE RA FRBS RWA (1931-2022)

James Walter Butler, MBE RA FRBS RWA (1931-2022)

One of Britain’s foremost figurative sculptors, James Butler was well known for both his public commissions, large and small, and his personal compositions. Having gained a thorough grounding in carving early in his career, he then developed equal mastery as a modeller. He created many cherished monuments in Britain and abroad that stand securely in a tradition that can be traced from Donatello through Charles Sargeant Jagger to Giacomo Manzù.

James Butler was born in New Cross, London, on 25 July 1931, the second of three children of Walter Butler, a stevedore, and his wife, Rosina (née Kingman). He enjoyed drawing from an early age, and received encouragement from his parents. In early childhood, he moved with his family to West Malling, in Kent, about six miles west of Maidstone, where his father had built a house.

During the Second World War, his father was conscripted to work on building projects.

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