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Who was Sally Arnup?

Sally Arnup was one of the UK's best-known animal sculptors. Watch Dr Maddie Boden reveal her fascinating career.
Sally Arnup was one of the best-known animal sculptors working in the UK. After studying at two prestigious art schools, Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College of Art, Arnup moved to York to teach sculpture at York Art School where she eventually became head of department. Its common for artists to teach in art schools while also receiving commissions and working on their own projects. Arnup had a unique reputation amongst animal sculptors because she tended to work from live models rather than sketches or photographs. As a result, animals often came to live with Arnup and her family for weeks at a time while she worked from them.
She sculpted all types of animals from farm animals, to prized racing horses and even exotic creatures such as silver leopard, now in Her Majesty’s Royal Collection. Sally Arnup is a useful artist for thinking about the diversity of sculptural practice in the twentieth century. Not all modern sculpture is abstract or theoretically challenging but nevertheless Arnup’s work is still aesthetically interesting and an important part of the story of sculpture. She is also heralded as an important artist from York and her teaching inspired a number of sculptors who are still working today.

Sally Arnup (1930-2015) was one of the finest figurative bronze sculptors of her age and had a well-earned reputation both nationally and internationally for her life-like animal sculptures. She was also a respected art teacher at the former York College of Art.

In this video, we’ll introduce you to Sally Arnup’s life and work and begin to delve into the unique field where she made her career – animal sculpture. This will drive our discussions about the breadth of modern sculpture. We’ll also learn more about several important art schools in Yorkshire.

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Modern Sculpture: An Introduction to Art History

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