The Sculptural Processes Group is an informal study group which was set up in October 2007 to facilitate exchanges between mainly London-based academics, curators and conservators interested in questions of sculptural practice. The Group explores, through seminars and visits, various aspects of the creative, material and mechanical processes involved in making sculpture from Antiquity to the present day.

The aims of the Group are to enable individual members to gain a more precise and nuanced understanding of the practical processes of sculpture - both through close examination of works and through discussion with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. The core group comprises a small number of academics, curators and conservators with diverse interests from The Courtauld and other London colleges and museums. The Group regularly hosts events to which colleagues from London and abroad are invited.

Louise Bourgeois JANUS FLEURI, 1968 Bronze, gold patina, hanging piece 25.7 x 31.7 x 21.2 cm.Courtesy Cheim & Read, Galerie Karsten Greve, and Galerie Hauser & Wirth Photo: Christopher Burk


In the Autumn of 2008 the group has hosted a conference, ‘The World Turned Inside Out: Bronze Casting in the 20th Century’, which gave the opportunity for  artists, curators, conservators and academics to share perspectives on what remains one of the most vital and challenging of sculptural media.  An associated session enabled some of the conference participants to examine and discuss bronzes from both Courtauld Gallery and private collections. 

The group also organised a study day centred on a visit from Frits Scholten, Head of Sculpture at the Rijksmusem, Amsterdam and his colleague Robert van Langhe, Head of Conservation and Research.  Addressing issues of both technical and conventional art history, Frits and Robert spoke about their recent and ongoing research into new methods of imaging bronze sculpture in order to answer questions about manufacture, function and object history.  The day also featured a visit to Daniel Katz Gallery to examine a group of renaissance bronzes.  Over the coming year plans are in place to visit artists’ studios and a quarry, and to host another interdisciplinary event at The Courtauld.