Richard Reginald Goulden (1877-1932)

Central portion of Margaret Macdonald monument.

The sculptor Richard Goulden has one conspicuous works in London the Margaret Macdonald memorial in Lincolns Inn Fields, in the central square on the Soane Museum side, a bronze group showing the subject flanked by numerous infants.

Goulden was born and lived in London, studying at the RCA, and his work seems to consist mostly of portrait sculpture, and a few memorials. His work, such as I have seen of it, spans from an Edwardian style through to a more emblematic deco style towards the end of his career. Goulden's war memorials typically have a vertical composition, with a central figure, arm or arms raised, rather spare, almost vorticist, and fitting for the subject. The Margaret Macdonald is obviously a portrait, and the cherubic infants, well, I have never been a fan of such, and these are unpleasant in their own way, but no less unpleasant for that. Early in his career, in the 1900s, he made at least a few allegorical figures and plaques, of their period, but over time, the change from arts and crafts to a more deco style makes his work more harsh, less sympathetic to the eye. His faces tend to the grimacing rather than ideal, though his portraits are sympathetic enough. His few nude works which I have seen at least in reproduction, again from the 1900s, do not aspire to the ideal.

In London, as well as the Macdonald Memorial, Goulden also made the small WW1 memorial outside St Michael Cornhill, near to Bank, depicting a male angel with sword, very vertical, with below, rescued cherubs and an evil big cat (see the Cornhill page). St John at Hackney also has a war memorial by him, and his also is the statue of G. F. Watts on the front of the V&A.

Outside London, we may mention several more war memorials: in Gateshead on Prince Consort Road, in Crompton, and in Reigate. Also a statue of Carnegie, in Pitencrieff Park, Dunfermline, and a cherubic fountain in Malvern.

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