Harold Cohen Library
Ashton Street, Liverpool University

Picture by Jonathan P. Neill
Designer: Harold Dod
Sculptor: Eric Kennington {1888-1960}

The female figure across an open book above the central window represents learning, it is by Eric Kennington, better known as a painter. On the outbreak of the First World War Kennington enlisted with the 13th London Regiment. He fought on the Western Front but was badly wounded and and sent home in June 1915. During his convalescence he produced The Kensingtons at Laventie, a portrait of a group of infantrymen. When exhibited in the spring of 1916 its portrayal of exhausted soldiers created a sensation. Kennington was also a highly regarded stone carver, whose achievements were ranked in the 1920s and 1930s alongside those of his contemporaries Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill and Frank Dobson. His work has since fallen into neglect. There is also a plaque by Herbert Tyson Smith to John Sampson, the University's first librarian. For a translation of the plaque see: http://www.liverpoolmonuments.co.uk/plaques/sampson01.html

Sources: Pevsner Architectural Guides: Liverpool by Joseph Sharples, The Sculpture Of Eric Kennington by Jonathan Black & http://www.art-ww1.com/gb/texte/013text.html

Alan Maycock 2007


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