Henry Hugh Armstead RA (1828 - 1905)

RA Collection: People and Organisations

Henry Hugh Armstead was born in London in 1828 and received his earliest education in the workshop of his father John, a heraldic chaser. He studied at the Government School of Design at Somerset House from the age of thirteen before attending two privately-run drawing schools.

Armstead was employed by the silversmiths Hunt and Roskell, while at the same time working in the studio of sculptor Edward Hodges Baily and studying at the Royal Academy Schools. Until around 1863 he concentrated on metalwork, although the lack of recognition he received in this medium led him to turn to sculpture. After his sculptural work was noticed by the Gothic Revival architect George Gilbert Scott, Armstead was employed to create relief panels and other sculptural decorations for buildings including the Palace of Westminster, the Albert Memorial and the Colonial Office (now the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) on Whitehall. His sculpture anticipates the later New Sculpture movement which broadly rejected classicism in favour of realism.

Armstead, who also produced numerous book and magazine illustrations, was elected as a Royal Academician in 1879 (his Diploma Work was a marble relief, The Ever-Reigning Queen). He took an active role in the work of the academy, teaching in the Schools for many years and placing the sculpture in many RA exhibitions. He died at his house in London, in 1905.


Royal Academician

Born: 18 June 1828 in London, England, United Kingdom

Died: 4 December 1905

Nationality: British

RA Schools student from 24 April 1847

Elected ARA: 27 January 1875

Elected RA: 18 December 1879

Gender: Male

Preferred media: Sculpture

Works by Henry Hugh Armstead in the RA Collection

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Works associated with Henry Hugh Armstead in the RA Collection

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Associated books

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Associated archives

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