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Charles Summers (1825 - 1878)

RA Collection: People and Organisations

Sculptor of portrait busts, prize medallions, and large free-standing sculptures, born at East Charlston, Somerset, on 27 July 1825, the son of George Summers, mason, and his wife, Ruth.

Aged 19 he came to the attention of the sculptor Henry Weekes RA, who took him into his studio and gave him his first lessons in modelling. Summers entered the Royal Academy Schools on 16 December 1848, where won a silver medal for a model from the Antique in 1848 or 1849; a silver medal for an Academy model in 1851 and in the same year the gold medal for a group figure.

He first exhibited at the RA annual exhibition in 1849 whilst still a student in the RA Schools. He exhibited a total of 44 works at the RA between 1849-1876.

Summers travelled to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in 1852. He went on to become one of the most important sculptors in colonial Australia.

He returned to England in 1867, then moved to Rome where he established a studio.

Summers died, after an operation, on 24 October 1878 at Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, and was buried in the protestant cemetery in Rome. Most published sources state that he died on 24 November, but his French death certificate and the England & Wales Probate register both give his date of death as 24 October 1878.


Born: 27 July 1825 in East Charlton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom

Died: 24 October 1878

RA Schools student from 16 December 1848

Gender: Male

Works by Charles Summers in the RA Collection

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