Boehm, Joseph Edgar


Boehm, Joseph Edgar


Boehm, Joseph Edgar, 1st Baronet of Wetherby Gardens (1834-1890), English-Hungarian medallist and sculptor


Omeka record contributed by Albertine Lee

Date Submitted

November 17, 2016

Birth Date

July 4, 1834


Vienna, Austria

Death Date

December 12, 1890



Biographical summary

Born in Vienna, Austria in 1834 to Hungarian parents, Joseph Edgar Boehm was the youngest son of Josef Daniel Boehm, who was a court medallist and the director of the imperial mint in Vienna. His father’s art collection and occupation influenced Boehm at a very young age, prompting him to study medal design and modelling in London from 1848-51. He returned to Vienna, and in 1856, Boehm was awarded the Austrian Imperial Prize for Sculpture. His marriage to Frances Louisa Boteler led to the sculptor’s decision to move and settle in London in 1862, where he used his Parisian experience in portraiture and expertise in carving marble and modelling terracotta to set himself apart from the classicizing idealism typical of mainstream sculptors. His success at the 1862 International Exhibition marked the start of Boehm’s distinguished career. The majority of Boehm’s works were portrait busts, reflecting a diverse range of expressiveness and emotional content. His sitters included James McNeill Whistler, John Ruskin, and William Makepeace Thackeray (a piece produced in 1864 which attracted great attention for its realism). In 1869, Boehm’s achievements attracted the attention of Queen Victoria, and in the same year, he executed a colossal marble statue of the Queen for Windsor Castle. Among his fifty-seven public monuments, one of Boehm’s most famous works, a life-sized statue of Thomas Carlyle, earned the sculptor unanimous praise the at the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1875. Boehm’s close association with the Queen and his ability to cater to the tastes of his royal patrons caused his popularity among English royalty and aristocrats to rise rapidly; the sculptor received over forty royal commissions, and was appointed sculptor-in-ordinary to the Queen in 1880. In 1878, he became an Associate of the Royal Academy, and was elected Academician in 1882. Unfortunately, Boehm’s reputation deteriorated in the late 1880s; in 1887, he was commissioned to design the effigy of the Queen for the jubilee coinage that would be used to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her reign, but it met with unfavorable response from both his peers and the public. Although he was created a baronet in 1889, his fortunes and popularity fell after the mid-1880s. On December 12, 1890, Boehm suddenly passed away in his studio in London, where his body was discovered by his most famous pupil, Princess Louise.


Mark, Stocker, Royalist And Realist: the Life And Work of Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (New York: Garland, 1988).
E. Gosse, "Living English sculptors III," Century Magazine, v. 31 (1886), 39–50,;view=1up;seq=53
W. Meynell, "Our living artists: Joseph Edgar Boehm," Magazine of Art, v. 3 (1879–80), 333–8,;view=1up;seq=350
Mark Stocker, "Boehm, Sir (Joseph) Edgar, baronet (1834-1890," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, May 2006), 


Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt



Boehm, Joseph Edgar

Cite As

“Boehm, Joseph Edgar,” Victorian Artists at Home, accessed July 23, 2024,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: JOSEPH EDGAR BOEHM, R.A.
This Item dcterms:relation Item: J. E. BOEHM, R.A.
Item: Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt dcterms:subject This Item