BRIDGEMAN, John

1916 - 2004

As Arthur John Bridgeman, he was born at Felixstowe, Suffolk on 2 February 1916, the eldest of three children, son of Bernard John Bridgeman, an NCO in the military police who had served all over the former British Empire. His mother, a Miss Dowling, spotted her son's gift at drawing, approached the famous local Suffolk artist, Sir Alfred Munnings [q.v.], for advice and was told that young John should be sent to Colchester Art School where he studied under (Herbert) Barry Hart (1894-1954) and Edward James Morss (1906-1994), and awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art 1947-1949 studying under Frank Dobson (1886-1963). In 1939 an unmarried 'art student' living at Hillside, Newton Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, the home of architect Frederick Earee [q.v.] and his family. His first love was painting, and it was during this period that he produced many gouache paintings and pastels in a Romantic style celebrating the English countryside. After working as a letter-carver for Misha Black's Design Research Unit until 1951, contributing big panels for the 'Dome of Discovery' at the 1951 Festival of Britain, was a appointed hed of sculpture at Carlisle College of Art. In 1956 he succeeded William Bloye as Head of Sculpture at Birmingham College of Art, where he remained until retirement in 1981. Sculptor working in fibreglass, plastics, concrete, bronze and ciment fondu was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1960 and a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. His commissions included 'Madonna Dolorosa' for Coventry Cathedral, a group of Warriors for Catherine's College, Cambridge. He married in 1941 Irene Dancyger and they had one son and one daughter and lived at 27 Hyde Place, Leamington, Warwickshire where he died on 29 November 2004.





Works by This Painter