Crouching Youth by Winifred Turner at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London

In this episode, we’ll be taking a closer look at Crouching Youth by Winifred Turner at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Welcome to Art, Culture & Books with me, Anthony King.

This 1934 bronze was inspired by one of our channel favourites, Ivan Mestrovic whom we’ve become quite accustomed to, and consequently, I am quite sure that you will notice that the Victoria and Albert Museum made an error in their description of this piece. Have a look and see if you can work it out! It relates to his place of birth. I spoke with the museum who told me that they would be happy to correct it, which means that the next time you go and see this it’ll probably have a newly updated description. We all make mistakes and it’s so rare which the great institutions that it’s quite exciting to find one! If you’re a channel regular you will know that we’ve found them at the National Portrait Gallery London all the way to Aberdeen Art Gallery, Scotland! Even Art, Culture and Books is not immune to the very rare mistake!

This bronze sculpture displays a rich, dark green patination. Winifred Turner, the daughter of the renowned sculptor Alfred Turner (28 May 1874 – 18 March 1940), known for his impactful public monuments, such as statue of Queen Victoria, installations in London’s Fishmonger’s Hall, and numerous war memorials across the UK. This piece was donated to the V&A by her sister Jessica, Crouching Youth was also joined by a piece from their father, Mother and Child.

The artistry of this highly stylized figure mirrors Turner’s fascination with ancient sculpture and her deep passion for dance. With a green patina and a smooth surface, the bronze subtly captures the contours of the youthful male form. Distinguishing herself from her father, Winifred Turner specialized in modelling, while Alfred Turner was known for his work in stone. Her artistic journey led her to the Royal Academy Schools in London from 1924 to 1929. Recognizing her contributions, she was elected Fellow and Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1930 and exhibited the Royal Academy from 1924 to 1962.